Education

Proposed Bernards School Budget for Next Year Breaks Total of $100 Million for First Time

ab282381914722907fbc_BERNARDSBoe3.13.17.jpg
The Bernards Township Board of Education on March 13, 2017, the night on which the proposed school budget for the 2017-18 school year was presented. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
ab282381914722907fbc_BERNARDSBoe3.13.17.jpg

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The proposed township school budget for the 2017-18 school year - if adopted by the Board of Education following a public hearing scheduled for May 8 - would for the first time total more than $100 million.

Adding in all expenses, including debt payments, the proposed spending plan for operating six township schools is a proposed $101,171,316 for the school year beginning in September 2017.

That is a $2,456,558 increase over the total budget for the current school year, set at $98.7 million, according to the school's figures, already posted on the school website.

Sign Up for E-News

There is a proposed increase of $2,656,615 in the actual operating budget of $94 million planned for next year; however, that was offset by a $200,000 reduction in debt payments calculated for 2017-18, according to school officials.

The proposed budget would keep all current school programs and staff intact, school officials said. 

Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian said this week that there will be a "realignment" of the existing elementary teaching staff next year to address the concerns of parents who last month complained to the school board that class sizes are 26 students or larger for this year's third graders at the Oak Street School and fourth graders at the Cedar Hill School. Whether other hiring requests will be filled with new staff members remains to be decided, Markarian said in an email on Thursday.

Most of increase due to contractual salary increases

When the tentative budget was unveiled at the March 13 Board of Education meeting, Board Business Administrator Roderic McLaughlin said that most of the increase, shown as more than $1.8 million in the school's presentation, would be due to contractual salary increases.

The budget figures presented so far show that the remaining proposed budget increase of almost $800,000 would go for technology hardware, transportation, the resurfacing of Ridge High School's track and state facility tuition.

No tax rate figures released yet

McLaughlin said he would reveal the impact the proposed budget would have on taxes at the public hearing on the budget scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 8 in the Performing Arts Center at Ridge High School, 268 S. Finley Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Promised state aid of $3,255,276 for the upcoming school year will remain the same as it was for this year, and within $200 of the amount it has been since the 2012-13 school year. School officials took pains to point out again that under the most recent school funding formula, last updated in 2008, the Bernards Township school district should receive $4.7 million annually in state aid. 

If next year's school budget is approved as proposed, local taxpayers will end up kicking in $83,751,502 towards the cost of the total budget. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Somerville: Cobalt Apartments to Receive Land Development and Planning Award

February 14, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the county Planning Board will honor six local projects, including the Cobalt Apartments on Veterans Memorial Drive at the 35th annual Land Development and Planning Awards at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the Freeholder Meeting Room, located on the third floor of the county Administration Building at 20 Grove St.

Free ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 16, 2018

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and staring at some pretty ridiculous tuition fees.

Early ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, February 18, 7:00 PM

Villagers Theatre, Somerset

Hairspray Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Fellowship Helping Hands Receives Home Care Award

February 16, 2018

Fellowship Helping Hands, the home care agency operated by Fellowship Senior Living in Basking Ridge,  has received the 2018 Best of Home Care® – Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse, announced Liz Fandel, vice president of Home Community Based Services at Fellowship Senior Living.

Fellowship Helping Hands is a New Jersey licensed home care service for older and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!