According to the budget presentation, next year’s financial plan maintains all current instructional and athletic programs, as well as all student activities and current staffing levels.
The total budget for next year is $40,994,390, with $26,879,725 to be raised through the tax levy. According to municipal percent share, Voorhees Township and Gibbsboro residents will see an increase in taxes, while Berlin Borough taxes will decrease. The model is a state-driven formula that takes into account student enrollment from the sending districts and equalized property values.
Gibbsboro residents with the average assessed home value of $223,400 will see an increase of approximately $96 in taxes, while Voorhees Township residents with the average assessed home value of $259,460 will see a hike of approximately $40.
Residents of Berlin Borough with the average assessed home value of $233,600 will see a decrease of approximately $80 next year.
The district is receiving $9,071,243 in state aid, a decrease of approximately 4 percent from the prior year. According to Business Administrator Diana Schiraldi, the decrease in aid is due to the state’s decision to allocate fewer funds to districts with declining enrollments. Eastern’s student enrollment numbers have declined over the past decade, as the district received $9.9 million in state aid during the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
Through the budget, the school and its classrooms can expect numerous renovations and improvements. For starters, the district is spending $100,978 on new textbooks for math courses, as well as replacement textbooks for various other classes.
In terms of capital projects, the district is putting forth $2,432,575 toward four main projects, with the largest being new heaters in three gymnasiums across the building that will cost $1,567,875. The district is also moving forward with resurfacing the tennis courts and small parking area, as well as lighting and sound system upgrades in the performing arts center and upgrades to the ventilation system in the Graphics Arts Room.
At the end of the budget presentation, the public was reminded that board member elections are Tuesday, Nov. 3, with two seats available for Voorhees Township and one seat available for Berlin Borough. Petitions to be on the ballot for the election are due to the Camden County Clerk by July 27.
The next scheduled meeting for the board of education will be a virtual session on Wednesday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m., hosted via YouTube.