Manasquan Voters Pass Budget
One incumbent, two newcomers win seats on Board of Education
Voters in Manasquan have passed the school budget by a margin of 692 to 523.
Members of the Board of Education and school administration gathered at the district's Broad Street offices on Wednesday night, eagerly awaiting results from the borough's four polling districts.
"We won!" was shouted amid claps and cheers when the final votes were tallied.
The budget question was approved in District 1, 2 and 3, but failed to pass in District 4— which covers the beachfront area and much of the borough north of Main Street and east of Route 71.
"We really want to thank the community members of Manasquan for supporting our schools and affirming that they think we're doing a good job," Superintendent Geraldine Margin said shortly after the results came in.
On the Board of Education side, one incumbent won re-election, and two new comers will fill the seats of sitting members who did not seek re-election.
"I'm happy," Board of Education member Linda DiPalma said after learning of her re-election, leading the way with 690 votes. "I guess I'm doing a pretty good job if they re-elected me."
Newcomers Michele LaSala and John Campbell also won seats with 606 and 561 votes respectively.
"My children went through the school system and I felt it's time I give back," John Campbell said upon his election to the board.
The Manasquan Board of Education will hold their annual re-organization meeting in the Manasquan High School Media Center on May 3 at 7 p.m.
The approved budget will have an average increase of $71.50.
Despite a 1.43 cent increase, Manasquan will lose two classroom teachers, a high school supervisor and a part-time technician. In addition, a proposed Manasquan Elementary School supervisor position and a proposed part-time special education teacher position will not be hired. Half of the planned field trips, general supplies and out of district professional development were also among the cuts made to keep the budget beneath a state-mandated two-percent increase cap.
The $25,865,567 total proposed budget for the 2011-12 school year is $547,900 more than the previous year. That increase includes an additional $227,823 in state aid and $229,426 from taxes with the remainder raised by grants, shared services, extraordinary aid and maintenance and tuition reserves.
The budget includes the cost of new K-5 science textbooks, new high school textbooks and maintains the Gifted and Talented, Honors and AP programs as well as co-curricular and athletic programs.
The budget approval comes in a time of financial turmoil for the state of New Jersey, as districts statewide deal with the rising cost of salaries and benefits and a significant cut to state aid.
The state aid pinch has been felt in Manasquan. The district lost over $1 million in aid for the current 2010-2011 school year. In February, the state Department of Education announced aid figures that included $227,823 from Manasquan. Though the figure represents only a fraction of what the district received for the 2009-2010 school year, the funds allowed Manasquan to save one full-time teaching job which was proposed to be eliminated.
Click here to view results from other area elections.