MULLICA TOWNSHIP — The Mullica Township Board of Education approved a $8.8 million budget Wednesday night that would eliminate 12 jobs and increase the tax levy by about 2.4 percent.
The budget is $238,338 less than the $9,132,948 that the district budgeted for the 2009-2010 school year.
The tax rate per $100 of assessed property value will increase 2.21 cents to $1.16, which means the budget that will be up for voter approval April 20 would increase taxes by about $44 for a home assessed at $200,000.
However, taxpayers also will be required to pay an additional 1.2 cents per $100 of assessed value in debt service that is left over from the school expansion and other improvements.
And, as a result of a $258,283 reduction in state aid, rising special education costs and health insurance expenses, the budget calls for the elimination of 12 jobs — including five full-time teachers — and the reduction of two other staff members from full-time to part-time positions.
The school district also will make cuts in extracurricular activities, field trips, computer support, remedial activities and professional services.
“There will be substantial cuts to our budget. A budget that was already lean,” district Business Administrator Lourdes LaGuardia explained to the dozen or so residents and local leaders in the audience. “Our children surely aren’t deserving of this. However, this is what we’re faced with… And this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
LaGuardia also warned what could happen if voters do not pass the budget.
“More cuts and reductions will take place,” she said.
The Board of Education approved the budget by a 6-1 margin, with board member Richard Noble casting the only vote against it.
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