Livingston Board of Education Discusses the First Draft of the Budget

The Geography Bee finalists Credits: Jason Cohen
The Femgineers from Heritage Middle School Credits: Jason Cohen

LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Monday night, the Livingston Board of Education discussed the first draft of the budget at its board meeting.

Overall, revenues are sufficient as predicted and the key to fiscal health is extraordinary state aid. Areas in the budget that will exceed forecasts are subscription bussing fees, rental income and extraordinary aid. However, they will fall short because interest rates and tuition revenue will be low as there are very few tuition students attending the schools.

Superintendent Dr. Brad Draeger said the district believes they will be able to generate enough surplus this year to allow them to appropriate the same amount of fund balance in the 2013-2014 budget. Also, it is assumed that state aid in 2013/2014 should be the same and the will budget the same.

Sign Up for E-News

The district will find out how much state aid they will receive at the end of February, but the problem is that leaves them very little time to do the budget because it is due by March 4. Therefore, the board is asking for an extension on the budget. Draeger said they are assuming the state aid will be flat funding and they were already told grant allocations from the federal level will be reduced by 25 percent. Most importantly, even with all of the changes, the district will stay under the two percent cap.

“With all of the talk at the federal level, nobody is surprised,” Draeger said.

They also hope to make improvements to the curriculum, staffing and special education. There are 130 special needs students outside of the district and in the future, Draeger said he plans to decrease that amount.

“It’s not so much as bringing the outside ones back, it’s any new kids identified need to stay in house,” he said.

Draeger also said Livingston is going to make the administration building ADA compliant, implement security upgrades at the schools including making all doors lock from the inside, continued removing asbestos tile from classrooms and install additional cabinetry in classrooms as well.  

In other business, the board presented proclamations to the Geography Bee finalists from Mount Pleasant Middle School and Femgineers from Heritage Middle School, which is a female engineering club that competed in the New Jersey Future City Design Challenge and several students won in the competition.

The board also discussed the English as a Second Language program and the shared services between the high school and the local cable television station. Although all ESL students are required to join the general education population after four years of ESL, the board found there are an increasing number of students who are still a year or two behind their classmates. Acquiring a second language is difficult and for 25 percent of the kids in Livingston English is not the main language at home.

The board proposed to train teachers on how to facilitate children who come from ESL to the general education population beginning next year.

“We were staffing as if we were five years ago when we only had 58 students,” he said. “We have 83. We need more staff.”

The Livingston television station and the high school students work together on many broadcasts and share services. The town also has a Livingston Public Broadcasting Executive Board, which consists of seven members; three appointed by the council, three by the board and one by the township manager. Draeger said they haven’t been assigning people recently so starting in January they will.

“I just think you’re going to see the sharing of services in the town grow,” Draeger said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Guerrero Martial Arts Kids - 50% OFF

March 23, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Guerrero Martial Arts in Caldwell is offering 50% off of their regular 6 week trial program.  Regular price of $69 is being slashed in half to only $34.59 for a limited time only. 

Redeem this discount by clicking HERE and entering in coupon code: TAPKIDS

Six week package includes six lessons and a uniform!

" Martial arts classes benefit ...

Livingston Smiles - $150 Value

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston Smiles is offering a Smile Analysis and FREE consultation - $150 value.  Call today to make an appointment: (973) 992-4099.  Mention this ad to claim this offer!

Take the quiz to find out if you should take advantage Dr. Krugmans' offer!

About Dr. Krugman:

A lifetime resident of Livingston, Dr. Gary Krugman has dedicated over 35 years to ...

10% OFF at Advantage Pest Control

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Advantage Pest Control is now offering 10% OFF new termite services. Call now to take advantage of this limit time offer! Call and ask for the "TAP DISCOUNT" (973) 736-1007

"We combine our knowledge of construction and termite biology so we can offer the right options for treatment to fit any situation and budget. We feature Termidor termiticide ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Orchestra: "Water. water.

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Mon, March 26, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE

Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Synagogues to Offer Pre-Passover Events and Community Seders

March 20, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – With Passover fast approaching on the evening of March 30, synagogues throughout West Orange are helping people prepare for the holiday by inviting the public to attend community Seders.

B’nai Shalom, located at 300 Pleasant Valley Way, kicked off its pre-Passover events on March 11 with its first Passover Cooking & Crafting for Kids ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Temple B’nai Abraham Welcomes Newborn Chicks to the Early School

March 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — When Farmer Eric from Quiver Farms, Pennsburg, PA, came to The Early School of Temple B’nai Abraham last week and brought two incubators, brooder boxes and two-dozen incubated eggs,  the students were excited about the prospects of such an exciting event happening in their classrooms.  

It was even better than the students and their teachers ever ...

Former Rumson Student Arrested for Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, NJ — A former Rumson High School student, Maximilien Reynolds, 19, was arrested in Ithaca, NY, and charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record.

Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...