Brookfield school officials plan to operate with a budget nearly $500,000 less than projected the past two years.

School directors on Monday approved temporary appropriations totaling $11,931,444 for 2008-09.

The appropriations are about 4 percent less than projected for the fiscal year that ended Monday.

By law, school officials can’t spend money until an appropriations resolution is adopted by the board. The numbers can be updated as needed throughout the year.

The spending plan includes a general fund budget of $9,275,789 — over $600,000 less than in 2007-08.

Details of the general fund weren’t outlined. Instructional spending on salaries and benefits should see a decrease due to layoffs in June of six teachers and three special education instructors.

A financial forecast presented in May by former treasurer Samantha L. Foy showed the district would be over $318,000 in debt this summer without making changes.

School directors are researching a possible levy to bring to voters this fall.

School board President Joseph Pasquerilla has said it would take a levy of more than 10 mills to turn around the deficit.

Unlike in Pennsylvania, tax increases must be approved by the district’s voters.

Voters also may be reluctant to support such a tax increase after approving a 28-year, 7.4-mill levy last November to build a new school, he said.