The School Budget – What’s Next
While the people of Englewood voted for a revision of the proposed school budget, I want to thank the School Board members and Superintendent Segall for their tremendous effort in the face of a short deadline and the removal of state aid imposed by Governor Christie.
We now have the opportunity to re-visit our budget priorities and re-work the budget in a way that builds citizen confidence. It can be done! As your Mayor, it is my goal to find the common ground that does right by our deserving students and honor to our hardworking taxpayers.
What’s next is clearly defined by New Jersey State Law and the NJ Department of Education. The process promotes absolute transparency so each of us can be informed and participate. I urge every citizen to be engaged in the process. Click here to view an excellent presentation prepared by the New Jersey Department of Education that walks you through the budget process.
Between now and May 19th there is a consultation period with the Board of Education, the school district administration, the City Council and me – all under the guidance of the County Superintendent, Dr. Aaron Graham.
By April 28th, the Board of Education will prepare what is called the “defeated budget information package” along with a letter of transmittal to the Mayor and City Council. The defeated budget package includes:
- The Proposed Budget for 10-11
- Salary schedules for all employees (09-10 & 10-11)
- Pupil enrollment by grade as of 6/30/09, 10/15/09 & projected for 2010-11
- The number of schools & classrooms, including pupil capacity in each classroom
- Detailed tuition analysis
- Analysis of professional & nonprofessional staff, 2009-10 & projected for 2010-11 (including a list of retirees).
- Proposed capital projects and/or deposits into capital reserve
- Copies of BOE’s most recent annual report, annual audit, comparative spending guide, and report card
- Any other information deemed appropriate by Executive County Superintendent for a specific BOE
This material will be carefully reviewed by the Mayor and City Council. The City Council will then set the amount of taxes to be levied in order to accomplish the Budget.The School administration and the School Board will be able appeal certain aspects of the Council’s decision to the NJ Department of Education, if they so choose. To make this less likely, I recommend that the City Council form a sub-committee with Council Members and the Mayor and the Board of Education also create a sub-committee to work together, collaborating to deliver a budget that can be endorsed by both the City and the Board of Education.
I look forward to helping facilitate a process that will lead to a sound and equitable final budget that will be a win-win for our schools, for our students and for all our citizens.
Mayor Frank Huttle III