The Region 12 Board of Education approved a $21.35 million budget for 2012-13 Monday as presented by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bruce Storm.

"The board felt Dr. Storm and Bob Giesen (director of finance and operations) did a good job in bringing in an appropriate figure," said James Hirschfield, board chairman. "Tough choices were made yet significant enhancements were achieved in the area of technology."

Dr. Storm said the "shrinking size" of budget increases over past years and in this year reflects "a heightened sensitivity to the difficult circumstance of our national and regional economies ... and local hardships."

The declining student population, down from 1,140 students in January 2002 to 886 students in November 2012, was another contributing factor in keeping budget increases low, he said.

The $21.35 million budget represents a 0.46 percent increase -- $563,076 -- over the current budget.

The 2012-13 budget cuts two elementary teachers, but it also includes $150,000 for new technology, including 20 laptop computers, 30 iPads and 32 whiteboards.

The budget breakdown for each of the region's towns is: Bridgewater, $4,896,540 with 23.29 percent of the students; Roxbury, $6,672,301 with 31.6 percent of the students; and Washington, $9,546,035 with 45.21 percent of the student population.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322