HARDYSTON - Shortly after the defeat of the 2004-2005 school district budget, Hardyston Chief School Administrator Dr. Anne Wilkins submitted budget information to the township council, and the school board and town officials hammered out a new budget last week. "We were able to work out a reasonable agreement with the town council," said Wilkins. "The cuts that were made will not directly affect the children's education." The district's nearly $8.4 million budget failed voter approval, 267-223, and was reduced by $50,000, dropping the budget figure to just over $8.3 million. "We are all happy to get this done with," said William Bauer, school business administrator. "We had a wonderful working relationship with the town council and can now proceed with educating the children." A proponent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Bauer said the district is solvent due to the funding from the federal government. According to board member Todd Anderson, who was reelected on April 20, the last couple of years have been focused on the construction of the new middle school. The main issue now, he said, is ensuring that every effort is made to achieve academic excellence. The Hardyston Middle School on Wheatsworth Road was dedicated last Nov. 22. The school district is K-8 with an enrollment of roughly 750 students.