Ninety-five percent of the annual school budget comes from local property taxes, with the remainder coming from state aid.
Residents will have the opportunity to either approve or reject the tax-supported portion of the budget during the April 15 elections when they go to the polls to also select new members for the Board of Education.
The polls will be open from 1 to 9 p.m.
Under the new budget, the Board of Education's administrative cost per student will be $1,785. Last year these same fees were $1,622 per student.
"This is a good, fair budget. It's fiscally sound and allows us to meet the needs of our students and the taxpayers," said Ed Walkiewicz, business administrator for the Secaucus Board of Education.
If approved, the average homeowner in Secaucus would pay about $78 to the school system next year. Property owners pay taxes to the schools, the county, and to the town. Each budget is figured separately.
With increasing enrollment - a student body of 2,178 is projected for next year - new classrooms are among the school system's immediate needs. This budget allows the school system to continue expansion projects in the high school and middle school that will open up new mixed use classrooms so that class sizes can remain small, Walkiewicz noted.
In the event that voters reject the taxpayer-funded portion of the budget, the school board will have to negotiate a compromise with Mayor Dennis Elwell and the Town Council. Although such a turn of events is rare, school budgets have been rejected twice within the last 10 years, Walkiewicz said.
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