ELIZABETH, NJ - For the second, consecutive year, the Elizabeth Board of Education budget shows no increase in property taxes despite challenges such as an increase in student population and expenses in a number of key budget categories, Board of Education recently announced.

Enrollment in the Elizabeth schools is expected to reach 27,495 in the fall of 2017, an increase of more than 1,400 students from just two years prior, said officials.

The local amount raised by property taxes remains at $59.8 million, the same amount as the past two years. Overall costs are slightly reduced from $513 million to $505 million for the 2017-2018 school year, despite a shortage of $60 million from the state according to its own funding formula, the BOE announced.

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The budget supports the opening of a new school that will house second through eighth-grade gifted and talented students of William F. Halloran School No. 22. The school has been located at Monsignor Joao S. Antao School No. 31 on Bayway Avenue for about five years. The four-story school, which scheduled to open in September 2017, is designed to educate about 890 students and will include 34 regular education classrooms, three special-education classrooms,six science labs and various other facilities.

The district is also opening two new 9th grade academies in September 2017. John E. Dwyer Academy’s 9th Grade Academy will be housed at Nicholas Murray Butler School 23 on Union Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy’s 9th Grade Academy will be housed at the Frank J. Cicarell Academy across from City Hall.

In addition, School No. 23, currently will be moved to the facility where Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School School 26 on Westminster Avenue currently resides. School No. 23 will open in September 2017 as a STEM Academy. School No. 26 will be housed at Monsignor Antao School No. 31 and will expand its enrollment of the International Baccalaureate Program.

According to BOE officials, the budget is able to remain balanced without a tax increase through economies made during the past two years including more than halving the costs of legal fees of the district, savings in benefit payments, and consolidation of some administrative positions.

The District will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget this Monday, May 1 at 6 p.m. at the Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center, 544 Pennsylvania Ave.