The South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education will discuss and take action on a preliminary 2017-18 budget at a special meeting on Saturday, March 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Montrose Early Childhood Center, 356 Clark Street, South Orange, NJ.
See the most recent Budget Presentation here. Also, see an email from the district explaining the budget process at the end of this article.
The meeting will feature a presentation of the budget, followed by a public comment period (to discuss the budget only). The board will then discuss and vote on the budget to be presented to the county.
Following will be a public comment period for questions and comments on issues other than the budget.
For background, see related Village Green coverage on the budget process:
Email from the SOMSD:
On March 7, 2017, the district’s proposed budget for the 2017-2018 school year was presented to the Board of Education and the community. The proposed budget was updated for the March 13, 2017, community forum, upon receiving information that our increased health costs entitle SOMSD to an additional $466,170 in taxing authority for 2017-2018. The Board of Education’s total taxing authority for 2017-2018 is now $115,902, 956, including the 2% local tax levy increase, allowable adjustments of $823,744, and banked cap of $1,118,001. The Superintendent is recommending using $115,755,202 of this taxing authority, with an estimated tax impact of 3.56%.
Superintendent Dr. John Ramos explained how the budget is tied to the district’s mission, which sets the direction for our work. He talked about the very painful choices in front of us, since we are constrained on the revenue side by both the 2% cap and by underfunding of the State formula of over $2 million, and on the expense side by increases in health care expenses, rising enrollment, and other cost drivers beyond our control.
Business Administrator Paul Roth explained this year’s “zero based budgeting” approach, in which every department and building had to justify every dollar they were requesting. This process identified some areas of potential savings, and also identified priorities which have been added to the budget.
Dr. Ramos reviewed his recommendations for additions and reductions, to balance spending with the proposed revenues.
The following resources provide detailed information on the Superintendent’s preliminary budget:
- PowerPointPreliminary Budget Presentation on March 13
- Video of Community Budget Forum on March 13
- Video of Proposed Budget Presentation on March 7
Board Vote to Adopt Preliminary Budget – March 18 @ 9:30am
The Board of Education will hold a special meeting this Saturday to discuss the recommendations of the Superintendent, and to adopt a preliminary school budget for 2017-2018. The meeting will take place at 9:30am at Montrose Early Childhood Center.
Community Input on the Budget
The Board of Education has welcomed and encouraged community input on the budget throughout the process. Community feedback is welcome during the “public speaks” portion of the March 18 special Board meeting. In addition, feedback can be sent via Let’s Talk!