NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The school budget is shaping up and it is ready to be submitted to the County Superintendent for review, Board Member Ira Krauss said at the Monday, March 19 Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

At this point the proposed budget is in the draft stage, and some changes are likely. The budget presentation will take place in April pending approval of the tentative budget by the County Superintendent, Krauss said.

Krauss noted that the district will receive additional state aid of $105,000 this year. With this slight increase the total state aid package will amount to $1,056,000, which represents only 2.5 percent of the total budget.  The budget totals $42,723,800 of which $38,645,614 will be raised by taxes. This year’s budget features 6.7 percent increase in expenditure. The increase is due partly because of almost $500,000 increase in employee health benefit costs. The tax levy is going up by 4.71 percent or $1,670,000. However, due to the added value of mainly commercial properties the tax increase will be only 1.5 percent which translates to $116.00 for an average borough home assessed at $292,000.

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The tentative budget includes some staff additions, including two special education teachers, one middle school teacher, one part-time high school hall monitor, four elementary school club advisors and two winter cheerleading coaches. The district is also contemplating the possible addition of a school security officer similar to what had been in place prior to the 2008 economic meltdown. The district security officer rotated through all the district schools and was funded by a federal grant.

The budget presentation and public hearing will take place at the April 26 BOE meeting.

The board also accepted a check of $89,280.50 from the New Providence Education Foundation (NPEF). The donated amount is the largest ever given out in the district. Since its inception in 2004 the organization has raised approximately $750,000 for the borough schools through various fundraising events.

The funds are intended to be used for various educational programs that cannot be funded through the general budget.

The next NPEF fundraising event, March Mayhem, will take place on March 29 at 7 pm at the high school.