Voorhees Township Board of Education approves 2013–2014 budget

Voorhees Township Board of Education approves 2013–2014 budget

The Voorhees Township Public Schools Board of Education approved the 2013–2014 school year budget for submission to the county on Thursday, March 21.

Residents will not see school taxes increase for the 2013–2014 school year. The proposed budget includes a $204 decrease per year for the average assessed home, or $17 per month, business administration Dr. Frank DeBerardinis said.

According to Superintendent Raymond Brosel, the school budget increased by $291,168 to $51.94 million. The tax levy is also increasing by $827,066, or 2 percent.

He said the average assessed home in Voorhees is $255,607.

Brosel said the budget would allow the school district to maintain all existing programs and services.

“We are not cutting anything,” he said.

The school district is also working on the standards of excellence and student achievement measuring the growth of students, he said.

The district is also implementing the Common Core Standard — standards designed to be relevant in the real world, prepare students for college and real life scenarios.

Brosel said other school districts throughout the country and state are using these standards.

Enhancing safety and security in all of the schools has been one of the board’s goals after the Sandy Hook shooting and will continue after the budgets submission.

Brosel said the school district is working with the township police to place armed officers at all school buildings. The district is also upgrading locking systems on all classroom doors allowing the door to be locked from the inside well as increasing camera surveillance.

“We have several buildings already completed. We think it’s a way to insure you can lock people out of the room form inside the classroom,” he said, adding keys will be easily accessible.

Brosel said state mandates, such as the state’s 2 percent cap, and standards make the budget process more difficult. But for the 2013–2014 school year cut backs will not be made and planned security and curriculum improvements will move forward.

The school district must submit the proposed budget by March 27. The next board of education meeting is May 1, where the district will hold its reorganization meeting at the administration building.