Education

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 Like

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Livingston Winter Track Captain Eric Schneider Named Livingston Athlete of the Week

February 20, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School winter track senior captain Eric Schneider has been named Dr. Michael Rieber’s Livingston Athlete of the Week for excelling in his final season as a Lancer.

With an impressive time of 7.88 in the 55-meter hurdles, Schneider recently qualified for the Eastern States Championships to be held on Feb. 28. This past weekend, he also ...

Farmers of Fairfield: A History of Suzy Lane

February 23, 2017

FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield-area residents who have noticed a new road in Fairfield called Suzie Lane in the new development on Horseneck Road may be wondering who Suzie is. According to resident Mary Romano DeMaio, the road is named after her mother, Susie Matarazzo Romano, who owned and operated the historic Romano Farm along with her husband, Tony “Ruby” Romano.

The ...

Five Everyday Objects That Could Set Your House on Fire

The most cost effective approach to managing risk is to be proactive about reducing hazards and preventing accidents. When it comes to home fires, the most common causes of loss might not be what you expect. Less obvious dangers like the five detailed below actually cause more losses than major events, both because small risks may go unnoticed and because they occur frequently.  

Laptops ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_79548a876edeb5df282b_eb72b149b363cd11febd_a1b7f06aa53b6ab2ba46_shipwrecked_icon

Fri, February 24, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_e2a526d36548c43c5db5_7d5f56837a0f6d267893_seton_hall_graduate_open_house

Sat, February 25, 12:00 PM

University Center, South Orange

Seton Hall Graduate Open House

Education

Carousel_image_79548a876edeb5df282b_eb72b149b363cd11febd_a1b7f06aa53b6ab2ba46_shipwrecked_icon

Sat, February 25, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen

February 15, 2017

To the Editor:

There has been much discussion recently about representatives in our government who pretend to represent their constituents, but who have been corrupted by special interest groups or blind self-interest. Unfortunately, in the 11th District, we have one such politician who, by his actions, is a significant part of the problem that we have in the federal government.

HomeWatch Caregivers Receives Best of Home Care—Leader in Excellence Award from Home Care Pulse

February 23, 2017

Homewatch CareGivers of South Orange announced that for the third consecutive year they are a recipient of the distinguished Best of Home Care—Leader in Excellence Award from Home Care Pulse. Homewatch CareGivers is the ONLY agency in northern New Jersey to earn this recognition.

Home Care Pulse is the home care industry’s leading firm in performance benchmarking and quality ...

A Heartbreak Kid

It hurts.

 

She was sobbing pretty hard when she said it, so it came out more as a halting stutter.  It hu . . . hu . . . hu . . . rts. 

 

My arms were wrapped around her and her head was buried in my shoulder as she cried.  She was just a little girl the last time I comforted her like this.  Now she is a young woman.  

 

With a broken ...

Livingston Area Chamber Spotlight on Max Title Agency, LLC

The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to spotlight its member, Linda Percoco, President of Max Title Agency, LLC. Thank you Max Title Agency for partnering with the LACC and being a part of Livingston’s thriving business community.

This virtual interview was conducted by TAPintoLivingston.net in partnership with the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and answered by ...