Jackson BOE Adopts Budget

Dr. Stephen Genco talks about the 2017-18 budget. With him is board of education president Barbara Fiero, and board vice president Scott Sargent. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

JACKSON – The Jackson Board of Education unanimously adopted its 2017-18 $150.26 million budget at its April 25 public hearing.

The average homeowner, whose home is valued at $326,489, will see a $36 annual increase in their school taxes.

The general fund is up $2,248,574 from last year. However, debt service decreased by $552,603. Officials said this means the total increase was $1,695,971.

The amount to be raised by taxes will be $81,522,303, up 2.84 percent from last year.

“We’re confident when we look at [the budget]…we’re in a very good place,” district superintendent Dr. Stephen Genco said.

Genco called the budget a “blueprint” to where the district wants to be, saying the district is in a “good place” compared to similar districts.

The budget includes: curriculum updates; k-5 social studies and science classroom library books; science supplies for k-5; five-year plan summer curriculum; continued existing programs; new summer library program for elementary students; and district-wide art and music supplies, including supplies for the new Academy of the Arts.

For technology, this budget includes online testing requirements, increased use of digital resources for textbooks and technology; replacement of high school projectors and parts; replacing obsolete printers; district switches and servers; “broken, damaged or out of warranty” staff laptops; Mac computers at high schools, replacing obsolete computers in middle school television studios and video production labs; purchase of Promethean Boards in elementary and middle schools through lease-purchase agreement.

The budget maintains and expands special education, supporting inclusion opportunities in the elementary schools, and preschool inclusion programs and “child care opportunities.”

The district has budgeted $450,800 for “Tier 1 Projects,” projects that must be completed. One mandated project that will cost approximately $125,000 is the sewer plant decommissioning at the school transportation property.

The full budget presentation can be found at jacksonsd.org/Page/9801.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at [email protected]