$158.4M Tentative School Budget Introduced

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  BRICK – The Brick Township Board of Education has approved a tentative budget of $158.4 million for the 2024-25 school year.

  According to district documents, the tentative budget is $158,431,294. Of this, $122,872,456 is to be raised by property taxes. The higher number includes the general fund, special revenues, and debt service.

  The district’s general fund, which aids the majority of the district and its operation, is $145,362,232 with a tax levy of $122,739,251.

  Brick is one of many districts suffering under S-2, a law that lowered state aid for some districts and sent it elsewhere. The NJ Department of Education states that Brick School District is receiving a total of $14,519,578 in state aid, which is down $112,455 – a .77% decrease from the 2023-24 school year.

  Superintendent Dr. Thomas Farrell has been a vocal critic of the state funding formula, explaining the never-ending impacts it has on the district.

  “I think I sound like a broken record over the last four years. We anticipate job cuts once again with the continued loss of state aid. We’re doing our best to minimize the impact on our students and staff and the programming. During these tough times I assure you that we look at all avenues that are in the best interest of all of our students and staff,” Farrell said at a recent Board of Education meeting.

  “We won’t have many details on the budget until the April 25 meeting, and many things will change in the next month. Last year, we had some additional stabilization aid, we got more retirements and attrition, therefore we could put positions back,” Farrell added.

  “Brick Schools will be $27 million under adequacy, according to the state’s numbers. This is not even close to the state average and way below the state average cost per pupil,” Farrell said.

  Farrell went on to explain how the state is funding a flawed formula. He was invited to speak with the state education committee and offered solutions to the funding formula.

  “I’d like to say I’m hopeful that there’ll be a major change to the funding formula, but I don’t think that will be anytime soon,” he said.

  During Business Administrator James Edwards’ report, he discussed how several schools will be changing their dismissal times. This will bring a savings of about $250,000 to the district, which will be included in the 2024-25 budget.

  Also included in the budget is the potential for Green Acres funding. Edwards explained how they held a meeting with engineers to discuss the Midstream Elementary School property.

  “The rear section of that property appears to be mostly wetlands. We’re hoping to have discussions in the near future with the Township about potentially obtaining Green Acres funds for that property as a potential revenue source for the district,” Edwards said.

  The Brick Board of Education will be going over the details of the budget during their April 25 meeting. A public hearing will be held before the members make a final approval and submit the budget to the state Department of Education.