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No Tax Increase in Brooklawn School District: Shared Services Agreement Approved With Borough

Source Media Release, March 26, 2008

The Brooklawn Board of Education held a public hearing and then approved the district's 2008-2009 budget of $5,395, 586 at the regular meeting of the Board on March 20.

There will be no tax increase in the Brooklawn School District. Nor will there be any reduction in services. The school district plans to continue to provide services not only for families who have children who attend the school district, but for the entire community as well.

The Shop Rite of Brooklawn Center and the Flowers Library and Media Center will be open evenings and some weekends. Programs will be planned for residents of all ages.

The Board remains committed to continuing the pursuit of nontraditional sources of revenue in the coming year, including the pursuit of discretionary grant funding and continued participations in the New Jersey Inter-district Public School Choice Program.

Highlights of the proposed budget include increased funding for technology, employment of a part-time teacher of Spanish, increased counseling and early childhood education services, and repairs and updates to the physical plant.

In addition, the Board of Education and the Brooklawn Borough Council have agreed to develop a local interagency shared services agreement. Board President Bruce Darrow and Mayor John Soubasis met several times to discuss this agreement, which will result in the school district and borough sharing some services and lead to reduced costs for both the school district and borough.

Board of Education President Bruce Darrow said, "The entire Board should be commended for their hard work in putting together the 2008-2009 budget. The Board would actually have liked to decrease taxes; however, because the district tax levy is already at the minimum permitted by state law, we were not allowed to do so. Our students remain high achieving, and the school district cost per pupil is among the lowest in the state.

In the past several years, we have built a library, classrooms, and a gym, added staff and programs, installed a new heating system and windows, made significant improvements in technology, and made numerous other improvements to educational programs and the physical plant—all without a tax increase. The Board remains committed to working with the entire community, including Mayor and Council, to find innovative ways to continue the success of the school district for the benefit of not only the students but all the residents of Brooklawn."