BRIGANTINE - The 2010-11 Brigantine School District budget approved by the Board of School Estimates will cut 13 positions, including four full-time teaching positions, five full-time support staff and four part-time support staff, School Business Administrator Charles Brewin said.

The tax rate is being raised 3 cents, from 33.3 cents per $100 assessed value to 36.3 cents, an increase of 9 percent. The district lost $916,235 in state aid for next year and suffered an additional cut of $1,017,622 in excess surplus money.

"They were difficult decisions to make, but in the end we had to make them," Superintendent Robert Previti said. "We lost (almost) $2 million in state aid. It's new territory for school districts in New Jersey."

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While he said he understood the fiscal situation that faces the state, he was critical of the way that districts were informed. He had been told that no more than 5 to 10 percent of state aid would be cut, only to find out that cuts were being made to the surplus as well.

"We lost 28 percent of our state aid, we lost five percent of our base budget, and the taxpayers' tuition money that goes over the bridge from here (to the Atlantic City High School), they lost five percent of that."

Previti also said his district would reach out to other districts about the possibility of regionalizing some pre-kindergarten services.

"We don't want to compromise the integrity of the programs," he said. "There's no way of affecting nothing. What we do is we do a triage. We do what is mandatory and we do what must be done."

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