STAFFORD TOWNSHIP - Southern Regional School District officials said after the board meeting Monday night that cuts will have to be made across the board after the state cut the district's aid 84 percent.

Superintendent Craig Henry said upper and middle management positions and teaching staff will be cut and all programs will be looked at for possible elimination.

"Cuts will be horizontal, vertical and across the board," Henry said.

Henry added that no action will be taken until after the April 20 school board election and budget vote.

The district lost $2.6 million in aid they received for the 2009-10 school year. The proposed budget is $2.33 million less than last year's budget, officials said, leaving a gap of about $1.3 million.

"We've already made significant cuts in the last few years. We didn't anticipate this. We're just reacting to the administration's decisions in Trenton," Henry said.

Board President R. Scott Zoladz, of Long Beach Township, said this is one of the most substantial aid cuts he has seen since he began serving on the board three years ago.

"We're trying to be responsible to the taxpayers. It's a difficult time for taxpayers, and it's not the right time to ask taxpayers for additional monies," he said.

Southern Regional's aid for 2010-11 should be $485,499, a loss of $2,614,576. Southern Regional lost another $1 million last month when Gov. Chris Christie decided the state would keep districts' excess surplus.

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