BAYONNE, NJ - Local taxpayers will take on $700,000 in additional taxes this year as a result of the $155 million 2021-22 school budget passed by the Bayonne Board of Education on April 27th.
While this is a one percent increase from last year's operating budget local officials say the spending plan also meets the fair share requirement the state needs to continually increase state aid each year. Assistant Superintendent Daniel Castles described that state officials look to what a district is doing on its own when configuring state aid. “Our district historically has always been underfunded in state aid,” he said, noting that state aid has risen 18 percent, up to $80 million, this year from the past.
The budget also includes programs the cost of a number of programs, including special education, that are paid for completely by grants.
“The operating budget pays for the day-to-day operations such as teacher salaries, supplies and custodial services,” said Castles. Increases in staff, which includes three full child study teams, four guidance counselors, a student assistance counselor, an occupational therapist, a speech teacher, a behaviorist, four security guards and four vice principals, also contributed to the additional spending.
A line item for newly purchased properties increased by $5.8 million over last year while the budget also includes spending on several capital projects such as roof repair or replacement, facility upgrades, and restoration projects. The district also replaced English arts textbooks this year.
This is the second year in a row that the district has increased the amount to be raised by local taxes by one percent, and the third year in a row that the tax increase is less than two percent. Over the last decade, the district has gone over the two percent mark for increased taxes four times, including in the 2017-18 school year when they increased 5.62 percent.
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