Behind the Budget: Facts and Figures
Brick Patch answers readers' budget questions
The Brick Board of Education on Tuesday adopted its proposed budget for the 2011-12 school year, which will be presented to voters for approval April 27. The article generated a good number of comments and emails asking for some additional information.
We've taken a look at the spending plan and reviewed some notes, and came up with some answers to the most frequent questions on the budget proposal.
- A common thread in many comments and feedback we received was how much the district spends on administrative salaries. In all, 83 percent of the total proposed budget is dedicated to salaries, according to Superintendent Walter Hrycenko. In total, 9.8 percent of the budget goes toward administrative salaries, including the superintendent, assistant superintendent, business administrator, principals and other individual school administrators, as well as secretaries and office staff. According to Hrycenko, 68.4 percent of the budget goes to classroom instruction while 20.1 percent goes to support staff, such as guidance counselors, librarians, nurses, bus drivers, custodians and maintenance workers. The remaining 1.7 percent of the proposed budget dedicated to salaries goes toward coaches and advisers for sports and extracurricular activities.
- Some parents also inquired about the number of teachers being laid off. In all, 12 teachers and nine teacher aides are slated to get the ax under the adopted budget. District officials have said the reason for the layoffs is a projection that the district's enrollment will decline by 183 students next year for a total enrollment of 9,901 students.
- According to figures included in a budget presentation by Hrycenko, the average class size for elementary school students will rise to 22.7 next year, from 21.7 this year. In the district's two middle schools, the class size will remain virtually the same, rising from an average of 25.9 students to 26 students.
- Spurred by state mandates, the district will also institute some academic changes for high school students next year. Integrated Science, Introduction to Business and Personal Finance classes will be replaced by Environmental Science and Financial Literacy, both of which students will be required to take in order to graduate.
The total proposed school budget for the 2011-12 school year is $136,040,404, which taxpayers (if approved) will support with a $96,506,217 levy. The increase represents a tax hike of 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed real property value, or about $58.55 for a residents who owns a house worth the township's average of $330,000.