If you have an opinion or questions on the approximately $68.1 million budget proposed for the 2013-14 academic year, the Board of Education's public hearing Thursday will be your only chance to speak up.
The March 21 hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Park School on Crest Way in Aberdeen.
The Board of Education approved a tentative version of the budget at a March 4 special action meeting, and according to School Business Administrator Patrick DeGeorge, the Executive Superintendent of Monmouth County has since reviewed and approved the budget as-is.
The $68,154,682 total budget includes a $64,745,927 operating budget, an increase of about $4.9 million from 2012-13, and $2,438,305 in debt service, a decrease of about $35 thousand. The overall budget is a 7.7 percent increase from the year prior.
Two of the largest actual increases, are anticipated in the areas of administration and capital outlay.
Administrative costs increased, DeGeorge explained, with the addition of a vice principal at Lloyd Road School and three district-wide administrators including Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Marc Natanagara, Director of K-12 Humanities Jessie Zitarosa and Director of K-12 Instruction and Evaluation John Bombardier.
Capital outlay increased by 436.9 percent because the Board of Education decided to use the remainder of the state aid they were awarded in 2011 to pursue several projects, including demolishing the old Cliffwood Elementary School and replacing a section of the roof at Matawan Regional High School, according to DeGeorge.
The budget calls for a $682,849 increase to the tax levy from the 2012-13 year for a total of $46,206,109 to be raised by taxes.
The tax rate is determined for each municipality with a formula that considers their respective assessed valuation of the entire municipality in conjunction with the total school taxes. According to DeGeorge, the total assessed valuation of each municipality decreased from 2012. When the assessed valuation of a municipality decreases, taxes increase as there is less wealth to spread around.
Under the proposed budget, the school tax rate in Aberdeen would increase $0.036 to $1.598 per $100 of a property's assessed valuation. For example, a property assessed at $300,000 would be responsible for $4,794 in school taxes for the year. This would be an increase of $108 a year from the 2012-13 approved budget or an increase of $9 a month.
The school tax rate in Matawan would increase $0.009 to $1.472 per $100 of a property's assessed valuation. For example, a property assessed at $300,000 would be responsible for $4,416 in school taxes for the year. This would be an increase of $27 for the year from the 2012-13 approved budget or an increase of $2.25 a month.
The public no longer has the opportunity to vote on the budget unless the increase to the tax levy exceeds two percent.
Read more about the proposed budget here.