NJ District To Cut 51 Teachers, Staff In 'Most Difficult' Budget Of Superintendent's Career

In his 31 years of leading school districts, East Brunswick Public Schools Superintendent Victor Valeski said he'd never had to craft a school budget as difficult as the one for 2024-25.

East Brunswick School Superintendent Victor Valeski

East Brunswick School Superintendent Victor Valeski

Photo Credit: Provided
East Brunswick High School

East Brunswick High School

Photo Credit: Google Maps

There was an $7.8 million rise in costs and $1.3 million reduction in state aid in next year's school budget. 

"This is by far the hardest and most impactful," Valeski told Daily Voice.

A total of 51 staff members had to be eliminated, Valeski said.

The cuts included 15 teachers, 10 instructional coaches, seven school counselors and the assistant superintendent of student activities and services.

The staff cuts were approved unanimously on Thursday, May 9 by the East Brunswick Board of Education in a $197.6 million budget for next year.

Twenty-five of the positions will be eliminated through retirements, non-renewals and resignations, Valeski said. The remaining people will lose their jobs by June 30.

"This is probably the most difficult (budget) we've had to do in my professional career," said Valeski, who's been in his role for the last decade. "We knew we were going to be impacting people. We had a number of people who were really great employees for us." 

"We told everyone individually," Valeski said. "These are people. . . we've known for a number of years. It's a difficult process."

East Brunswick Board of Education President Laurie Lachs at last Thursday’s crowded meeting said: 

"As we embarked on the process of crafting our budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, we were confronted with significant challenges that demand our careful attention and prudent decision making. 

"Working collaboratively with district administration, our charge was to maintain the highest possible standards that our community expects and deserves, As we navigated these complex decisions, we recognized that difficult choices had to be made."

Audience members criticized the staff cuts, especially the elimination of Louis Figueroa, assistant superintendent of student activities and services for the past 12 years.

"Instead of eliminating (only) teachers and support staff, we also have to economize on our administrative staff... and wear multiple hats," Valeski said.

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