East Windsor School Board Approves Budget, Taxes Increase
This is the first year there will not be a public vote on the school budget.
The East Windsor school board approved the 2012 budget that calls for a 1.73 percent tax increase, making it the first year residents will not have a vote on the budget.
Under the 1.73 percent tax increase, East Windsor residents will pay $57.40 for every $100,000 of their house’s assessed value, while Hightstown residents will pay $21.34 for every $100,000 of their house’s assessed value.
The school board moved elections to November so the public vote on the budget is eliminated as long as the budget falls within the 2 percent state-mandated tax cap.
“Since the cap is considered a nominal increase and our budget has come in below cap I believe all of the checks and balances are in place,” Superintendent Edward Forsthoffer said in an email Wednesday.
The budget calls for the hiring of an in-house behaviorist, two special education teachers, three high school core content teachers, three elementary basic skills teachers, a bilingual teacher and restoring five coach and assistant coach positions.
“We made a conscious effort to not go all the way to the cap yet we are still maintaining and improving our educational program. I cannot promise that we will not need to go to the cap in the future, but this year we were successful in accomplishing that goal.”
The district is also purchasing a comprehensive literacy program for elementary schools that covers reading, writing and spelling, and incorporates an anthology for each student, Forsthoffer said. Smaller novel-type books matched to the child’s reading level are also included.
New Jersey’s Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf visited Hightstown High School on March 15 and Forsthoffer told him the state aid would help the district purchase the literacy program. This year the district received about $18.3 million in state aid, up from about $17.1 last year.
The final budget presentation from Monday's board of education meeting can be found by clicking here.