Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 10
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
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Tentative PRS Budget Amended as State Increases Charter Funds

Ellen Gilbert

As a result of an unanticipated increase in state aid to the Princeton Charter School announced last Friday, the Princeton Regional School district’s tentative budget for 2008-09 was “tweaked,” according to Superintendent Judy Wilson, before it was voted on at Tuesday’s evening Board of Education meeting (which was held after Town Topics went to press).

Noting that it was still a “tight budget, designed by the Board in a very conservative way” (a “position freeze” for the next 12 months was proposed at the February 13 budget workshop), Ms. Wilson reported that the proposed tax increase is now 3.32 percent, rather than 3.6 percent as announced earlier. For the Township this amounts to an increase of one cent, and for the Borough nine cents. A discrepancy between the rate at which houses in the Borough and Township are changing (Borough homes are decreasing in value less quickly than Township houses) accounts for a slightly higher rate of taxation for the Borough this year.

The total budget increase over last year would be 5.2 percent. Last year’s budget was narrowly approved by the Township, and rejected by the Borough. It was the first time since 1991 that the district faced a budget defeat at the polls. It was left to the Princeton Borough Council and Princeton Township Committee to decide how the school board’s proposed 2007-2008 budget should be cut and by how much. Board members hope to avoid repeating that scenario this year. Budget hearings are scheduled for March 20.

Vote on Calendar

Other items scheduled for approval at the Tuesday evening meeting, which was originally scheduled for February 26, included acceptance of Federal Funds for handicapped students amounting to over $970,000, and approval of the School Calendar for 2008-09.

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