BOE Asks For Help With Upcoming Budget

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Published: November 18, 2010 @ 8:00 AM EDT
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At Tuesday night’s BOE meeting, the Board touched upon methods of outreach to ask for help and feedback from residents. Board member Loren Harms, who is on the budget committee, extended the lines of communication to help with next year’s school district budget.

“We’re in a very difficult year,” Mr. Harms stated during his report, “Everybody thinks last year was difficult, this year is going to be tremendously difficult.”

According to Mr. Harms, the outlook for the 2011-2012 school year has a possible immediate loss of between $1.3 million and $1.7 million if the district does not receive the financial aid the state provided in 2010, which is likely based on governor Christie’s plans to cut spending.

To prepare the district for the possibility of further cuts, superintendent Patrick Spagnoletti sent out an e-mail to the personnel staff asking for their input on how the BOE might be able to save money. In line with that, Mr. Harms stated, “I also extend it to the residents, if they have any ideas, to send an e-mail to the suprintendent’s office. We’re going to put them all together and see what we can come up with.”

Although last year’s  ‘easy cuts’, as Mr. Harms called them, were not easy, he stated that this year’s decisions were going to be harder, “There is no magic wand that we’re going to pull out. There is no rabbit coming out of any hat. These are just facts. I was shocked.”

Later during the same meeting, Board member Scott Nelson talked about a district survey being created to get input from residents, “We’re in the process of gathering volunteer members for that committee. We already have two (2) principals who volunteered and a parent from each of the schools. Altogether we’re hoping to send out this survey to get a better sense of what the people of Roselle Park, particularly the parents with children in schools, how they feel about the way things are going in our school district so we get more people involved and more opinions heard.”

Mr. Nelson finished by stating that survey will be worked on and completed over the next few weeks and months to come.

Any resident wishing to offer input can contact the BOE via e-mail at PSpagnoletti@rpsd.org or by phone at (908) 245-2103 or by attending the next BOE meeting and speaking at the public portion on December 7th.