JACKSON-The Jackson Township School District is hosting an emergency budget meeting to compensate their 2018-19 budget for the $1.35 million aid slash inflicted by Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey state Democrats.
The district today said New Jersey is backtracking on its previously allocated figure released in March.
“On July 13, 2018 the Department of Education informed us they are reducing the aid that was promised to the Jackson School District by $1.35 million and that we have to reduce our budget by this amount. In order to do this, we have to hold a special Board of Education meeting on July 31, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building to approve a restructured budget before the state deadline of Aug. 1, 2018,” the district said in an email to parents today. “In March 2018, the district received notice of our state aid figures and we built our 2018-2019 school budget based on these figures. We held a public hearing, the budget was adopted by the Board of Education in May, it was approved by the county superintendent of schools, and filed with the NJ Department of Education.”
“We now need to restructure our budget and find a way to reduce it by $1,352,314 without impacting the tax levy (amount to be raised by taxation) established in the previously approved budget. This is a monumental task, as we are a district that painstakingly budgets what we need for our 8,200 students in order to provide a thorough and efficient education. The original budget we created made investments in curriculum and safety projects, but had already limited the investments we were able to make in facilities improvements and technology plans and also resulted in 14 fewer positions through attrition and retirement,” the district continued. “At this special meeting on July 31.
The board of education and administration will discuss how to restructure the budget to make up for this loss. Our options include:
- Applying additional funds from our “surplus’’ account, which are funds we accumulate during the year that are typically folded back into the budget the following year for tax relief. This would mean those funds would not be available to offset the tax rate for the 2019-2020 year, and
- Taking proportionate funds from other non-salary line items and opting not to fill two additional vacant positions.
“The board will also be discussing our intention to appeal these cuts to the state so we can receive our fair share of aid and to express our frustration over the timing of these cuts after our budget has already been established,” the district said.