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Behind the Budget: Facts and Figures

Brick Patch answers readers' budget questions

The Brick Board of Education on Tuesday  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.

fried pickles March 31, 2011 at 01:29 PM
The brick schools website has a tax calculator that shows how much your taxes will increase if we approve this budget. It honestly is not bad at all. I hope the budget is passed!
John Barton March 31, 2011 at 02:21 PM
183 fewer students doesn't equal 12 teachers & 9 paras. If we had 10-12 students in a class the community would be questioning that practice too. But, the question of having a class size problem isn't clear since there are no big differences in the class size comparisons from this year to next; there isn't really anything to complain about as far as class size goes. I attended the meeting on Tuesday and I didn't see any suggestions , only negative criticism. I bet the Board would help you make a change if you offered a good suggestion, the board seems very open to suggestions. This year there appears to be shift in the thinking of what should be happening in Brick, and so far the Administration is off to a good start. The budget plan offers many great things for the children in Brick Schools.
Jose Deer March 31, 2011 at 02:25 PM
9.8% for admin salaries IS WHERE THE REAL THEFT IS !!!!.....this is where the people should be in their face and questioning WHY !!!
Watchman March 31, 2011 at 04:41 PM
John,do you think counting football,ice hockey,and wrestling as Co-Ed sports even though you have no girls in them is in the true spirit of Title 9 ? Do you think Administrators etc. should be getting 5% pay raises ? Can you or me ever get The Board or School ADM.to say that the Town Council can't tell them where to make budget cuts,they can only make recommendations ? Can you list some of suggestions the Board has taken ? Did we sit through 3 meeting with bad mikes? Do meeting ever start on time any more ? Would there be any money in capital improvements if I didn't raise the issue ? Did the money come from prudent expense cuts or non recurring revenues ? Were we at the same meeting ?
John Barton March 31, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Sports listings are that way because no opposite sport is made available to girls, meaning if girls had a football or hockey program they could be excluded from listing as co-ed. Mr. Fanelli, you make sense when you suggested building maintenance - Thank you Good Suggestion. I serve on the community committee and I have toured the buildings, the schools need some work. Contract talks and percentages are too vague to argue, you have to look at the entire line of workers year by year to actually measure a percentage, be fair. I think the money always came from non-recurring money - just not that Tuesday. Say hi at the next meeting, I like you views.

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