EVESHAM Twp. N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey’s budget crisis has hit home in Burlington County, where parents and students are up in arms over proposed school cuts.

Evesham Township’s Board of Education voted to approve it’s budget Thursday evening, meaning the elimination of nearly 55 positions across the school district.

The board was facing a nearly $4.5 million shortfall, an amount the Superintendent blames on a reduction in state aid of $3.2 million for the upcoming school year.

“Our enrollments are down about 700 kids over the last ten years or so, and our last two defeated budgets, we lost another $2.6 million,” said John Scavelli, Superintendent of Schools for Evesham Township. “We’ve had about $9.3 million in lost funding, that’s mainly what causes this.”

Despite the budget shortfalls, Thursday evening’s meeting saw a majority of parents were pleased with what they heard from the school district.

“As a mom, I want you to know how much support you have from us parents. We have a district we should be very proud of,” said Joanne Harmon.

“I think they did a great job, a fair job,” said Steve Zeuli.

But some people in the meeting were very concerned about the cuts.

“I ask you to please reconsider eliminating those positions,” said Leslie Donally, whose comment during the meeting was met with rousing applause.

The board responded by reminding parents that they did all they could.

“We’re not happy about this, but I think what we’ve done is fair, and I think we’ve kept the kids in mind and we’ve done the best that we can given what was handed to us,” said Bonnie Olt.

The board’s approval of the budget will also mean a slight increase in taxes for residents of Evesham Township.

Reported by Valerie Levesque, CBS 3

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