March 11, 2014 at 12:17 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange Board of Education began public discussions on the proposed school budget for 2014-2015 at Monday's board meeting.
The meeting opened with Interim Superintendent James O'Neill noting the unusual demographics and composite of the district students.
"Most school districts classify students into low, middle, and high (performing) groupings," he said. "Of course then, the goal is to bring the low to the middle, the middle to the high, and so forth. But West Orange has more than three classifications. It has low, middle, and high; it has a large special needs population, which need to meet 78 state requirements, plus federal requirements; it has a large ESL (English as a second language) population, and a transient population."
He went on to explain that the transient population was especially unique because students would enter and leave, and then re-enter the district, yet their scores still counted as part of the whole for district state testing.
The Tentative Proposed Budget will be announced on March 18 at a special meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Library Media Center at West Orange High School, 51 Conforti Ave. A proposed budget is expected to be ready by April 14.
Board Secretary Mark Kenney began review of various line items with the board, who asked questions along the way. Of particular note was the increase of state aid from $6,809,707 in state aid for 2013-2014 to 6,950,527 for 2014-2015. This is a 2.1% increase over last year for a total of $140,820.