MORRISTOWN – The Morristown Board of Education voted Tuesday to adopt a $9 million budget for 2013-2014.
The budget, a $481,154 increase over last years, represents the largest increase since the 2007-2008 school year.
Morristowns 2013-2014 budget includes the restoration of a social studies and an English position from half time to three-quarter time, an additional fulltime elementary teacher and a $100,000 building project to better secure the school building.
The largest driver of the increase in Morristowns budget is the $315,944 in teacher salaries and benefits.
Were a people business and thats where our money belongs, Superintendent David J. Glover said. [The money] belongs with our teachers; they teach our kids, thats whats most important. But unfortunately thats also our largest cost driver.
Morristowns 2013-2014 budget also figures in a $111,953 tax levy increase. That translates to a total of $3,453,833 in property taxes raised in next years budget.
The budget assumes $4.6 million in state aid, an $88,463 increase over last years amount, although Mr. Glover said he expects the state to deliver more aid to the district.
The states budget is expected to be announced by the end of the week.
But any additional aid money, Mr. Glover said, would be applied to the fund balance.
It would give us more life, Mr. Glover said of any additional state aid revenue.
The school has applied $970,663 in fund balance to close the 2013-2014 budget, a $280,740 increase over last years figure.
Mr. Glover said the school currently has roughly $3.3 million in its reserves.
Board Member Shawn Macaulay said he had hoped to see restorations to the schools technology department included in the budget.
Mr. Glover said the board can restore other positions in the future if it is willing to dip further into their fund balance.
A public hearing will be held on May 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget passed by the Board of Education.
The budget will be put out to vote on May 21.
The budget was passed by a vote of five to one with one member, Vice President Darrell Merkel, absent.
Board President Cyril Aldrich Jr., and members Mark Tayler, Mary Anne Bailey, Jane Kring and Mr. Macaulay voted for the budget.
Mrs. Kring, several minutes after the budget passed, announced she had intended to vote against the budget. The Board agreed it was too late for Mrs. Kring to change her vote, and Mrs. Kring said, even if she had voted against it, the budget still would have passed.
Board Member James Michaels voted against the budget.