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School Budget Approved With 1% Levy Increase

The budget is mostly unchanged since February's presentation.

After zero comments from the public concerning the 2012-13 budget, the Board of Education approved the budget Tuesday, creating one that reflects a 1 percent tax levy increase.

The budget stands at $134,995,733, a 3.92 percent increase over the 2011-12 budget.

For Bridgewater residents, the tax rate will stand at $1.32 per $100,000 of assessed value, a 2.16 percent increase, $126.09, on a home assessed at $411,662.

In Raritan, the tax rate will be $1.29, a 1.77 percent increase, $72.31, on a home assessed at $320,447.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder said not much has changed in the budget since the , which also included the 1 percent tax levy increase.

As far as state aid, the district will receive the $6.7 million it received last year, plus an additional $1.3 million like it received in July, as well as another $1.1 million for the 2012-2013 year.

Because of the extra aid, Schilder said, the district opted to reduce the budget by another $1,191,550 in order to reduce the tax levy increase to 1 percent, rather than 2 percent as was assumed when the budget was first considered in December.

“With the additional state aid, we put $850,000 to the tax levy, some to capital projects and the remainder of that was applied to class size reduction, restoration of middle school intramurals [and more],” he said.

Some of the items under consideration for inclusion in the budget, based on need Schilder said, are eight teacher positions for reduced class sizes for kindergarten through 12th grade, an additional position for World Language enhancement in the sixth grade and curricular alignment for World Languages.

The budget also includes restorations for textbook adoptions, special education staffing, taking care of deferred maintenance and the kindergarten through fourth grade choral program.

In addition, the budget adds in wireless technology additions for grades five through 12; kindergarten through sixth grade math program enhancements; science and enrichment coordinator stipends; Rachel’s Challenge assemblies; and the cost of an assistant football coach.

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