OCEAN TOWNSHIP - The Board of Education will hold a public hearing tonight on its proposed budget, which increases taxes and cuts eight positions.

The district is receiving $907,135 less in state aid for the 2010-11 school year. That, combined with employee salary and benefit package cost increases, adds up to a $1.3 million budget shortfall.

To make up for the loss, the district cut a special education supervisor, five classroom assistants and two teachers. Those cuts added up to about $431,000. The school also trimmed programs, removed funds for staff development and reduced supplies such as textbooks to make up for the rest of the difference.

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"There is zero fluff in the remainder of the budget," district Superintendent Chris Lommerin said. "The biggest focus was to work from the angle of what cuts would affect the children the least."

Under the plan, taxes would increase 0.74 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The township is getting 12 percent less state aid than last year, or about 4.99 percent of the $18,164,501 budget.

The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Frederic A. Priff Elementary School.

Contact Lee Procida:

609-457-8707

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