WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- The preliminary budget for the 2019 - 2020 school year was discussed at a Wood-Ridge Board of Education special meeting late afternoon on Monday in the high school's auditorium.
The Board approved a resolution for a preliminary budget of $23,175,185 for the 2019 - 2020 school year. The chart outline the basic budget:
|Current General Expense (Fund 11)||21,686,720|
|Capital Outlay (Fund 12)||29,875|
|Transfer to Charter Schools||80,373|
|Total General Fund||21,796,968|
|Special Revenue (Fund 20)||357,947|
|Debt Service (Fund 40)||1,020,270|
It also approved:
- The General Fund tax levy $18,284,171 is approved to support Current General Expenses and $1,020,270 to support Debt Service, for the 2019-2020 school year budget.
- The 2019-2020 school year budget includes an Automatic Adjustment for health care cost of $87,330.
- In budget line 630 Budgeted Withdrawal from Maintenance Reserve 2019-2020 school year budget is a withdrawal of $200,000 for required maintenance costs of the district.
- It established the school district maximum travel reimbursement for the 2019-2020 school year in the amount of $25,000.
The budget includes the aid that the district received from Trenton, which is an increase iof $62,898 over a year ago..
"All I can tell you folks this was a very difficult budget," said Board member Christopher Garvin. "I've been doing this now for several years. This is by far the toughest budget."
When asked by a member of the audience why, "We have no money," he replied.
"We've had to cut things for the past several years," he said. "We've cut and cut and cut."
Resident Jerry Caputo pressed the Board on the cuts, and expressed his concerns with the potential increase in students with the expansion of Wesmont Station.
"My main priority is the students we serve, including our special education population, and to have them received the best education possible," said Nicholas Cipriano, Superintendent of Schools. "That's why this budget was so difficult."
Caputo asked what the Board's plans "to address the population growth" from Wesmont.
Cipriano noted that this year, September through March, only 10 additional students had come into the district. It was explained that the Board has had discussions with the town and Council about the issue.
The budget will be submitted for approval to the county on Wednesday, March 20. The full budget will be presented at the April monthly meeting.
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