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BOE Discuss Revenue Side Of $35 Million Budget At First Budget Presentation

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Published: March 8, 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT
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In a change of procedure, the Board Of Education (BOE) only presented the revenue side of the 2017-18 school year budget at its first budget presentation for the upcoming school year. It was stated that expenditures will be presented next Tuesday night at the February 14th BOE meeting.

The Roselle Park School District (RPSD) budget for the next school year – which runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 – is $35,235,720. Out of that total, about 61% – $21,537,847 – will come from local taxpayers in the form of property taxes.

The presentation had an audience of about half a dozen residents in attendance which included two members of the municipal governing body – First Ward Councilman and BOE liaison Eugene Meola and Fourth Ward Councilman Michael Connelly.

BOE member and finance chair Rodric Bowman recounted the 102-day timeline from initial committee review to legal adoption of the budget. He stated that the important upcoming dates are:

  • March 14, 2017: Adoption of tentative budget
  • March 20, 2017: Deadline to submit budget to the county for review
  • April 25, 2017: Public hearing on 2017-18 school year budget
  • May 9, 2017: Adoption of 2017-18 school year budget

Following Mr. Bowman, RPSD Business Administrator Sue Guercio gave a PowerPoint presentation on the budget.

Although a spreadsheet was not available on expenditures, Mrs. Guercio highlighted significant points of expenses for the coming school year. She stated that salaries increased by $505,015 from last year. Based on the 2016-17 budget figures, this was a 2.5% increase for a total of $20,705,606 going to personnel; as with almost all operations, personnel is the largest portion of expenses.

Mrs. Guercio then stated there was no change in the district’s health insurance costs from last year’s $5,771,360 amount. When asked specifically about this, the business administrator stated the change was not necessarily $0 but negligible in its increase. This is a significant difference from last year’s increase of 17% from the 2015-16 budget.

New lease purchases to update textbooks, equipment, furniture, and to improve the technology component at the elementary schools (laptops) was in total $400,000 but this coming school year’s portion of that will be $100,000.

Finally, replacement of the Roselle Park Middle School (RPMS) roof was budgeted at $600,000.

On the revenue side, the following spreadsheet was provided to the public last night:

Description
2016-17
2017-18
Local Tax Levy
$21,055,914
$21,537,847
Tuition
$268,822
$240,000
Local Source
$72,000
$72,000
Unrestricted Miscellaneous
$8,246
$7,221
Other Restricted Miscellaneous
$9,966
$9,128
Categorical Transportation Aid
$24,011
$24,011
Extraordinary Aid
$200,000
$200,000
Categorical Special Education Aid
$1,161,432
$1,161,432
Equalization Aid
$9,210,539
$9,210,539
Categorical Security Aid
$101,567
$101,567
Medicaid Reimbursement
$30,400
$30,400
Other State Aid
$1
$1
PARCC Readiness Aid
$18,620
$18,620
Per Pupil Growth Aid
$18,620
$18,620
Professional Learning Community
$20,040
$20,040
Excess Surplus
$209,729
$525,110
Capital & Maintenance Reserve
$-
$600,000
TOTAL GENERAL FUND
$32,409,907
$33,780,538
TOTAL SPECIAL GRANTS FUND
$790,948
$752,082
TOTAL DEBT FUND
$703,550
$703,100
TOTAL BUDGET
$33,904,405
$35,235,720

There is a 2% maximum increase allowed per school budget year. Any amount over 2% goes to voters to approve or deny and only the amount of the 2% cap is voted on. This was a compromise made with school districts as an incentive to move school elections from April to November to coincide with the general election.

The total percentage increase is 2.3% but it does meet the 2% cap once the enrollment adjustment of $59,622 is applied. Enrollment adjustment is a calculation that takes into account increases in the number of resident enrollment between the previous school year and the budget year. the 2% cap, in Roselle Park’s instance, is calculated from $21,115,536.

Description Of Revenues
2017-18
Amount
Change ($)
from 2016-17
Change (%)
from 2016-17
Local Tax Levy
$21,537,847
$481,933
2.3%
Tuition
$240,000
-$28,822
-10.7%
Local Source
$72,000
-
-
Unrestricted Miscellaneous
$7,221
-$1,025
-12.4%
Other Restricted Misc.
$9,128
-$838
-8.4%
Categorical Transportation Aid
$24,011
-
-
Extraordinary Aid
$200,000
-
-
Categorical Special Ed. Aid
$1,161,432
-
-
Equalization Aid
$9,210,539
-
-
Categorical Security Aid
$101,567
-
-
Other State Aid
$1
-
-
PARCC Readiness Aid
$18,620
-
-
Per Pupil Growth Aid
$18,620
-
-
Professional Learning
$20,040
-
-
Excess Surplus
$525,110
$315,381
150.4%
Capital & Maintenance Reserve
$600,000
$600,000
TOTAL GENERAL FUND
$33,780,538
$1,370,631
4.2%
TOTAL SPECIAL GRANTS FUND
$752,082
-$38,866
-4.9%
TOTAL DEBT FUND
$703,100
-$450
-0.1%
TOTAL BUDGET
$35,235,720
$1,331,315
3.9%

The largest monetary increase on the revenue side of the 2017-18 budget was $481,933 from taxpayers. Although the amount is an actual expense to property owners, it is a revenue for the district.

The second highest increase was in the district’s excess surplus. This amount of $525,110 is 1.5% of the total proposed budget but a 150% increase over last year’s amount of $315,381.

Tuition being paid by other school districts or individuals to send their student to Roselle Park is expected to decrease by almost 11%.

Two other decreases are expected to come from interest on investment (Unrestricted Miscellaneous) as well as rental of facilities and residency fines along with other legal reimbursements (Other Restricted Miscellaneous).

The debt fund – the line item from which payments on long-term projects are taken – was less than last year. These are equivalent to a mortgage payment or loan payments. According to Mrs. Guercio, this amount reached its peak last year and will begin to decline over the years.

The Capital & Maintenance Reserve of $600,000 is what will be used to pay for the replacement of the Roselle Park Middle School roof. The board decided to take funds from reserve as opposed to including it in the tax levy. This decision also prevented the tax levy cap from going over 2%. Additionally, sources familiar with the budget stated that there were discussions as to whether to apply funds from reserve to replace lightpoles at the Roselle Park High School athletic complex or to replace the RPMS roof. The decision was made to prioritize the infrastructure of the middle school.

After the presentation, members of the public – including Matthew Leingang and Jacob Magiera – asked questions on what was presented.

Mr. Magiera asked why the replacement of the RPMS roof was listed as ‘partial’. Mrs. Guercio responded that about 10 years ago, additions were put on the middle school and those additions have brand new roofs that are in good shape. Only the old part of the building – the center part – needs to be replaced.

Mr. Leingang asked for clarification on terms such as excess surplus. Mrs. Guercio provided the explanation that school districts are allowed to keep a surplus of 2% of their total budget every year. Any funds remaining in the budget over that 2% surplus is considered ‘excess surplus’ and that amount, by law, must be returned to the taxpayer as a revenue line item in order to lessen the burden paid through the tax levy. The auditors determined there was an excess surplus in the Roselle Park School District’s budget of $525,110. Mr. Leingang asked about the 2% surplus and Mrs. Guercio replied that the 2% that is not excess stays in the general fund budget and allows the school district to operate without going into debt in case of unforeseen or emergent expenses.

The next budget presentation, which will have information on the district’s proposed expenditures, is scheduled to be held at the Sherman School gymnasium at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, March 14th.

A table showing the annual budget revenues for the past five years is available below for a greater understanding of changes over the years:

Description
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
2016-17
2017-18
Local Tax Levy
$17,855,273
$19,183,851
$20,454,668
$21,055,914
$21,537,847
Tuition
$441,734
$441,734
$346,727
$268,822
$240,000
Local Source
$72,000
$72,000
$72,000
$72,000
$72,000
Unrestricted Miscellaneous
$8,500
$8,500
$4,480
$8,246
$7,221
Other Restricted Miscellaneous
$17,675
$19,262
$16,451
$9,966
$9,128
Categorical Transportation Aid
$19,838
$24,011
$19,838
$24,011
$24,011
Extraordinary Aid
$200,000
$200,000
$200,000
$200,000
$200,000
Categorical Special Education Aid
$1,140,860
$1,140,860
$1,140,860
$1,161,432
$1,161,432
Equalization Aid
$9,176,611
$9,176,611
$9,176,611
$9,210,539
$9,210,539
Categorical Security Aid
$85,714
$85,714
$85,714
$101,567
$101,567
Medicaid Reimbursement
$29,816
$29,816
$31,474
$30,400
$30,400
Other State Aid
$1
$1
$1
$1
$1
PARCC Readiness Aid
-
$18,620
$18,620
$18,620
$18,620
Per Pupil Growth Aid
-
$18,620
$18,620
$18,620
$18,620
Professional Learning
-
-
-
$20,040
$20,040
Excess Surplus
$852,897
$632,434
$346,737
$209,729
$525,110
Capital & Maintenance Reserve
-
-
-
-
$600,000
TOTAL GENERAL FUND
$29,900,919
$31,046,274
$31,932,801
$32,409,907
$33,780,538
TOTAL SPECIAL GRANTS FUND
$693,552
$781,027
$790,945
$790,948
$752,082
TOTAL DEBT FUND
$685,164
$687,200
$688,100
$703,550
$703,100
TOTAL BUDGET
$31,279,635
$32,514,501
$33,411,846
$33,904,405
$35,235,720

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is also available below:


Download PowerPoint Presentation