The Medford board of education met on April 25 and proposed a budget of more than $50 million for the 2022-’23 school year.
The plan’s total is $56,099,389, with a tax levy of $49,345,134. The average assessed home of $323,663 would see an estimated annual increase of $51.13 or $4.26 per month. Taxes will increase by 2.65 percent.
The budget outlined goals that include hiring additional teachers to address the increase in student enrollment, three special-education teachers and four positions for general education, three of which are paid for in the general budget, with the fourth paid for by federal funds out of the(Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This particular fund provides direct money to states and districts to address the areas most impacted by the disruption and closure of the schools caused by the pandemic, according to nj.gov.
“There’s housing going up all around us – we are booming,” Superintendent Keira Scussa said. “Our class sizes are going up. We’re taking a look at our staffing needs … “
“Our enrollment is definitely going up,” she added, “but that’s a good thing, too, because it means that people want to move to our community.”
Business Administration/Board Secretary Marie Goodwin noted operating budget expenses for special-education programs – $9,008,846 – and general education expenses of $16,407,861.
“Our special- education costs have been increasing every year, and it’s just really due to the increase in the special ed population and the percentage of special ed children that we have,” Goodwin explained.
Contractual salary obligations account for $554,889, employee benefits for $293,810, district-wide insurance costs for $99,443 and instructional assistants and substitute increases for $318,486. Facilities maintenance and health and safety projects (KM Bas System, TF TCU Rehab, Camera Server Upgrades, Classroom Carpet Installation) will cost $143,800 and lease purchase agreement for buses, maintenance, vehicle and Chromebooks accounts for $165,000.
For more information, go to medford.k12.nj.us