The school budget for 2012-13 passed without a hitch Wednesday night after garnering unanimous approval from the board of education.
Officials touted the roughly $139 million total budget that for the first time in three years includes no layoffs and maintains all program and services.
Last year, the .
"I am happy and supportive of the budget," said board president Laura Lab. "We sought the best possible budget to give our kids the best possible education and still be conscious of our taxpayers."
The public did not vote on the budget this year following the .
School officials, though, said the with a $119 million tax levy will provide the lowest tax increase in 11 years.
"We're in a much better fiscal position this year," business administrator Mark Kenney said. "We have very positive changes from last year's austere budget."
For an average home assessed at $339,000, Kenney said the tax increase will be $92.75 with a 1.3 percent tax rate.
The district received , a small uptick from last year's, officials said, allowing the district to maintain current staffing levels.
The budget actually includes funding for more than a dozen positions and restores the language arts supervisor for K-8. The , who previously held the position,
Residents Wednesday questioned the board on whether Bartley-Carter would have have recall rights once the job was posted.
Board attorney Stephen Christiano said Bartley-Carter did not have tenure and therefore no recall rights.
Board member Megan Brill said since the position was eliminated last May, "we realized we really needed to staff that position."
The budget also includes $2.5 million in capital improvements, funding for a middle school robotics course, intervention programs and technology upgrades.
Kenney said that while the budget is "over-adequacy" compared to the average standards set by the state, West Orange schools are different than their state-wide counterparts and have additional programs and different needs.