MORANA AIMS FOR NO-INCREASE BUDGET
The spending plan funds a primary and and a middle school, and kicks in support for the Red Bank Charter School.
By JUDY DeHAVEN
Though the final funding amounts are not yet in from the state, Red Bank Schools Superintendent Laura Morana says she’s hopeful she can deliver a budget that contains no tax increase.
“The goal is always not to have an increase in the tax levy,” Morana said during a monthly meeting with the local media last week. “Hopefully we will be able to reach that goal.”
Last years $15.82 million spending plan included a penny increase per $100 of assessed property value about $40 more for the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $406,627.
The tax levy has increased for each of the last four school years.
Morana said if state funding for the 2009-10 year is cut, it does “not necessarily” translate into a tax increase. Instead, “we will reexamine our priorities,” she said.
The district won’t be able to finalize its budget until March 12, when the state Department of Education releases its aid figures.
Last year, a mandated transfer of funds to the Red Bank Charter School accounted for 13 percent of the district’s expenses.
A preliminary school budget was presented to the board of ed‘s Finance Committee by administrators on Thursday, kicking off a road show of sorts. At tomorrow night’s regular board meeting 7:30p at the primary school the public will get it’s first look at the spending plan. Over the next few weeks, Morana is scheduled to present the budget to the Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools Carol Knopp Morris, the mayor and council, and Red Bank community groups.
A presentation to a group of East Side residents is tentatively scheduled for March 27, while a presentation to the West Side Community group has yet to be scheduled.
Voters will get their shot at approving or rejecting the budget April 21.