The Little Silver Board of Education approved the 2012-2013 tentative budget at its meeting Feb. 23 that meets the state's 2-percent cap "on the nose," according to Board President Kevin Brennan.
He stressed that the general fund budget, which calls for $10.7 million to be raised by taxes, was still tentative and that the board's finance committee hoped to bring down the total increase to at least 1.9 percent, as it had last year.
A public hearing will be held on March 29 on the final 2012-2013 budget at 7:30 p.m. in the media center. Due to recent legislation and approval by the LSBOE, the budget does not have to be voted on in April by taxpayers as long as it stays within the 2-percent cap.
The district received $294,703 in total state aid, according to Business Administrator Amy Lerner, which is an overall increase of $70,000 from last year. Lerner said that the district only realized a $61,000 net gain because the state charged an assessment on SDA funding Little Silver received when it made improvements to the school in 2005.
School Superintendent Carolyn Kossack said some things affecting the budget were rising health care costs for staff and the anticipated enrollment of a special needs child in the district who will require the hiring of an aid.
The superintendent said the district made cuts like allotting $1,500 rather than $2,000 to fix musical instruments and will use revenue generated through the PTO's book fairs to purchase books for the media centers rather than budget for those items.
Kossack had said at the special meeting the board held on Feb. 16 to discuss full-day Kindergarten in the district, that increasing the budget 2 percent annually was a "realistic expectation," based on rising cost like utilities and health care.
"From an operating standpoint," she said to the audience, "your taxes will increase to some degree."
The district will benefit from the $50,000 raised by the Education Foundation of Little Silver, which will be used to purchase eight SMART boards. Once that equipment is installed, Kossack said that every 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classroom will have a SMART board for teachers and students.
The following chart shows the numbers, reflecting the state aid received last week:
Budget Local Tax Levy Total General Fund 11,692,055 10,713,568 Total Special Revenue Fund 150,006 n/a Total Debt Service Fund 1,031,421 1,031,421 Totals 12,873,482 11,744,989