A split Brick school board approved the district’s 2016-17 spending plan Monday night, complete with an accompanying tax hike and the elimination of numerous positions.
The board voted 4-3 to approve the plan. Board members Karyn Cusanelli, Sharon Cantillo and Stephanie Wohlrab voted against it.
The $150,618,318 budget will be supported by a $103,511,385 tax levy, up 3.51 percent from the current school year. The budget raises taxes for the average Brick homeowner by about $98.90. The district was able to exceed the state’s 2 percent tax levy cap under a controversial loophole in the cap law that allows school districts to “bank” the difference between the cap in previous years and the actual amount taxes were raised if they fell below the cap. The difference can then be applied all at once in a budget of any of the following three years.
The budget sheds 16 positions and funds improvements to a gym at Brick Township High School while creating STEM academies at BTHS and BMHS.