The Haddonfield Board of Education unanimously approved a 2 percent budget increase for the 2013-14 school year Thursday during a regular meeting. The increase means a typical homeowner with a property valued at $491,359 will pay $7,308 in school taxes, $194.40 more than last year.
School officials said they want to keep programs and staffing at current levels and not reduce them to balance the budget.
School Superintendent Richard Perry and the school board cited increases in teacher and administration salaries, text book and extracurricular costs for a $450,259 deficit. But the biggest driver of increased costs was a 24-percent spike for special education instruction.
Perry said special-education costs increased from $801,665 to $993,718, a $192,053 difference. He said most of these costs are for tuition for some special-education students outside of the district. Perry said their placement outside of the district is based on recommendations from professionals about the best learning environment for them or sometimes the wishes of parents.