MADISON, NJ—A new budget approved Tuesday by the Madison Board of Education will slightly increase taxes to expand science and math curriculum for students grades K-12.

Taxpayers will see a 1.68 percent increase this calendar year in the school tax portion of their property taxes, which the board estimates will cost residents about $120 more for 2017, to help fund the effort.

Next Generation Science Standards, a three-dimensional learning program that helps students become more “scientifically literate”, according to the organization’s site, will be implemented in grades K-5 as part of this year’s budget. Funds will also be allocated for additional equipment and staffing to support the expansion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum for every child in the district, grades K-12.

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“While providing for a modest tax increase, this budget enable our classrooms to incorporate higher-expectation standards in math, science and technology fields,” said Dr. Rich Noonan, Interim Superintendent.

The 2017-18 budget includes about $7.5 million for several improvement projects, including the replacement of the home and visitor side bleachers at Madison High School’s Ted Monica Stadium, installation of central air conditioning in Madison Junior School’s auditorium, replacement of windows in Madison High School’s courtyard and installation of a new audio visual system in the high school auditorium. Funding from the district’s capital and maintenance reserves will be used to complete these projects.

The Madison school district will also receive nearly $2 million in aid this year from the State of New Jersey and several other federal and state granting agencies, accord to the board.

“Despite the fact that the State of New Jersey continues to woefully underfund its financial obligation to our students and taxpayers, our administration, working with the Board’s Finance Committee, has again been able to successfully craft a budget that will help to sustain and advance our shared commitment to student achievement,” Board of Education President Lisa Ellis said.

For more information and to access budget documents, click here.