WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- Maintaining the current cirricular and co-curricular programs, 3D printers, and art clubs were some of the highlights in the 2019-20 school year budget presented at the Wood-Ridge Board of Education meeting held Monday night in the Auditorium. Albie Nieves, Board of Education president, made the presentation.
Some of the fiscal mangement methods the district is incorporating includes:
- Reducing the out-of-district placements by offering services in district;
- Allocating tax levy and title funds to areas of greatest need;
- Maximizing shared services and partnerships with the Borough and other school districts.
He also touted some of the district's successes including the increase in securiy cameras throughout the district, the addition of the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Institute, the continuing Science and Technology Academy, new Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and additional Science, Social Studies and PE time at Wood-Ridge Intermediate School without additional staffing.
The bulk of the revenue comes from local taxes, along with tuition from Moonachie, state aid, federal and state grants, miscellaneous, and transfer from maintenance reserve.
The budget for the 2019-20 school year is projected to be $23,175,185. Expenses are broken into seven categories: Direct Student Services, Administrative Costs, Plant Costs, Employee Benefits, State and Federal Projects, Debt Service, and Capital Expenditures. Nieves explained that the "majority of the money is spent on students" at 59.8 percent. of the total budget. The next highest cost is employee benefits, at 16.3 percent, and next highest administrative costs at 11.6 percent. The overal budget comes in at 2.4 percent over the cap, which factors in the increase in health costs.
The impact on local residents will lead to an increase of $211 on the average assessed home value of $350,000.
In response to the public discussions and concerns at recent BOE and Borough Council meetings, Nieves also unveiled a multi-faceted Mission Statement, Guilding Principles, District Goals and Long Range Plans for the district, which will be covered in a separate article.
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TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is the official newspaper of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education and Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council.
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