NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The main challenge that the New Providence School District faces for the upcoming school year is how to move forward with the existing curriculum while staying within its budgetary constraints in light of the steep reduction in state funding last April, according to School District Auditor Matthew Donahue.
Donohue presented the annual Audit Report for the 2009/2010 school year to the New Providence Board of Education at Monday night’s meeting. Donahue explored the report's numbers and compared them to the final budget for the year 2009/2010.
The General Fund is the largest source of funding for the district and the main source of revenue in the district. According to the report, the district brought in less money than anticipated last year.
In April, the state cut New Providence’s funding in the amount of $511,075.00. This was money that the district had expected to receive before June 30th of last year, which, of course, they did not receive. This has had a significant impact on the district’s final results determined by last year’s budget report.
Last year’s excess expenditures were $413,834.00.
The question of "How to go forward when the district is working with smaller numbers than we ever have before?" was the focus of the meeting. Mr. Donahue responded, “If I was in your shoes, I would be taking a sharp pencil and looking at every budget number in detail and asking myself, ‘Is that absolutely necessary to incur that cost?’ The answer to the overall question, according to Donahue, is to make budget cuts anywhere they can be made.
Several members of the community, staff and administration have volunteered their services to the district to help the district save resources.
Jonathan Reedy has offered his services as a volunteer wrestling coach for the district.
Rob Nissen has also offered his services as a volunteer Public Relations Coordinator for the school district. Nissen has owned his own public relations firm for 15 years and is a resident of the New Providence Community.
“I felt that this was a great opportunity to help the community, “ said Nissen. "I am extremely excited about this.”
“Kudos to all that have volunteered,” said Board Member William Dibble. “This proves what a great community we have here.”
Concerted efforts to work on the first draft of the new budget are beginning to take place and a draft budget will be available after the first of the year, according to finance committee head John Wolack.