OCEAN CITY — Facing deep cuts in state aid, the Ocean City Board of Education adopted a budget Wednesday night that will cut 17½ positions.
The 2010-2011 budget, which goes to voters April 20, also eliminates most field trips and postpones maintenance work, including an air conditioner in the high school, officials said.
Superintendent Kathleen Taylor did not say where the personnel cuts would take place.
“No one has received a pink slip. However, we will not discuss what positions will be cut (until) I’m able to look that person in the eye and be able to tell them,” Taylor said to a standing-room-only crowd of mostly teachers at the school board meeting at Ocean City High School.
After the meeting, about a dozen of the teachers in attendance declined to comment on the budget.
The school district was facing a $2 million cut in state aid this year, Taylor said.
State aid now accounts for less than 1 percent of the budget, business administrator Steve Terhune said.
“We basically get more money on interest than we do from the state of New Jersey,” he said.
If approved by voters, the budget would set a school tax rate of 18.57 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is slightly less than a penny increase from last year, Terhune said.
The budget would collect $21.3 million from taxpayers, a 4 percent increase from last year. Staff costs account for 84 percent of the budget, Terhune said.
The school board adopted the budget unanimously Wednesday night.
“These are difficult times,” Taylor said at the beginning of the meeting.
The budget cuts will eliminate field trips for the primary and intermediate schools, as well as most of the high school, Taylor said. Among other cuts, the spending plan also reduces the amount of technology equipment to be replaced.
Taylor noted that she and Terhune voluntarily froze their salaries and are contributing to their health benefits.
When state aid cuts were announced in March, the district sent letters to employees and posted a notice on its Web site asking for ideas on cost-saving measures for the school board to consider.
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