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LIVINGSTON, NJ — The state of the school budget and the ongoing search for a permanent superintendent was the focus of discussion at last week’s Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting.
Bringing the public up to date on the search, Interim Superintendant of Schools James O’Neill announced that the board is still looking at a number of candidates and expects to have the matter settled by the end of February or early March. O’Neill stated during a previous meeting that the list of candidates included up to 40 applicants for the position, and that the slated start date for the new superintendent is July 1, 2019.
As the board began its budget discussion for 2019, it was noted that the budget is currently $1.6 million over cap, meaning that the board would need to obtain county approval in order to proceed and also hold a separate vote. Members of the LBOE insisted that this was something the board intends to avoid.
Additionally, board members stated that the budget needs to be reduced by $1 million prior to its adoption, but that any potential cuts are dependent upon how much state aid Livingston Public Schools receives.
The LBOE is prepared to have “a more robust” discussion during the March 11 meeting, where critical dates for the impending cuts will shine further light on the details surrounding the potential cuts, they said.
According to the LBOE calendar, the State of New Jersey will release its state aid numbers for the budget next month, which will allow the LBOE to continue its budget discussions, addressing topics such as curriculum, facilities, technology and personnel.
The current budget timeline includes a public forum to be held on March 14, a tentative budget introduction on March 18, further budget discussion on April 1 and a public budget hearing to be held on April 29. As these discussions continue, O’Neill urged public participation.