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Brick School Board Set to Vote on $2 Million Tax Hike for 2020-21 Budget

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Brick Township Board of Education will hold a virtual meeting Thursday night during which board members are expected to vote on the district’s 2020-21 school budget, which raises both expenditures and taxes under state mandate.

With Brick having lost another round of state aid this year under a deal hatched by Gov. Phil Murphy and state Sen. Steve Sweeney, the district is obligated by law to raise taxes by the the maximum 2 percent cap. This year, the district is set to spend $157,965,420 on its operating budget and debt service, and will be supported by a tax levy of $115,155,355. The represents a tax increase of $2,064,122 over the current budget year.

The board introduced a tentative budget in March with little fanfare – a rarity – likely due to the virtual nature of meetings during the era of social distancing. The district normally hosts a lengthy presentation of the details of the budget, but this year just the tentative numbers were revealed at the meeting. The budget up for approval Thursday night is identical to the tentative budget presented in March.

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There was no announcement as to whether the state funding cut, which is $4.2 million for next school year, will result in further layoffs, staff reductions or the cancellation of any academic or athletic programs.

“We’re looking at trying to sustain our programming, academically, that we offer,” Superintendent Thomas Farrell said at a previous school board meeting.

The board meeting will be streamed from the district’s YouTube page.