NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Board of Education passed the 2017 - 2018 Public School Budget Monday night with every member of the board voting 'yes.' 

Nutley Public Schools Budget Passes: Decisions driven by Sustainability

In opening the budget hearing, Nutley School’s  Business Administrator Karen Yeamans said: “Sustainable: that word is very key to every decision that we make when we build the budget. We are not only planning for 2017-18 but beyond.” The district’s long term goal statement includes ‘to develop a budget that achieves an overarching view that is sustainable.’

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The $67,570,230.00 overall budget unanimously passed and is within the state mandated 2% cap. The general operating budget is $62,6M. This year’s budget builds on budget investments of the past five years and includes increase in staff and instructional resources.

INVESTMENT

Budget Investment Highlights presented by Yeamans included:

  • Out of District Tuition and Services $264K (for in district and out of district students)
  • Extended School Year Program $10K (July Program for the special education population)
  • Technology $50K (adding $50K to last year’s $250K for a total of $300K allocated to Technology)
  • Lease Purchase to Replace 2 school busses $35K (reaching 15 year utilization life cycle)

Superintendent Dr. Julie Glazer informed the meeting attendees that staffing investments included adding  one Full Time Employee (FTE) Secondary – to support block scheduling, one FTE associated with the fifth grade expansion at Yantacaw and three Full Time Special Services Employees:

  • High School Long Term Disability
  • Middle School ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis/Autism)
  • ·Pre-School ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis/Autism)

The total Full Time student enrollment estimated is 4,148: an increase of 91 students over actual 2016 enrollment. Fifty-five students are placed in private schools for 2017, an increase of 8 over 2016 and the number of students being sent to other district’s Special Ed programs is 3.

Budget Reduction highlights presented by Superintendent Glazer included Staff reductions. Full Time employee secretarial positions reduced by 1.5 and secondary teaching staff reduced from one full time to two part-time.

In order to stay within the 2% cap, other budget reductions included:

  • Instructional supplies cut 16% - $189K
  • New Textbook series cut 100% - $253K
  • Deposit to Capital Reserve – $100K
  • Professional Development cut 22% - $30K

According to Glazer the reductions in Professional Development were offset through the districts’ Title II funds. She said. “As a political side note, this might be the last year of Title II. This would have a tremendous impact on us in future budgets. Please if you have the opportunity, speak out. We need Title II.”

REVENUE

Budget revenues include a $1,063,067.00 increase in the tax levy. Yeamans said: “That is the bulk of where our additional revenue is coming from. Unfortunately we are not like a corporation where we can go out and try to sell some additional products."

There was a revenue decrease in tuition. Dr. Glazer stated: “Unfortunately as our space issues compound, our ability to bring in tuition paying students decreases. That’s tied to our shrinking classrooms.”

State aid increased $319.00 for a total $7,095.416.00. According to Yeamans, the $319.00 is to help ‘offset the cost’ of the 6 Nutley students who will be attending charter schools outside of Nutley this year.

The Nutley district will pay those charters schools and their districts approximately $76,000.00 next year. In addition the parents of the six students each receive approximately $800 in ‘aid in lieu’ for their transportation.

“So we are getting closer to a $95,000.00 bill and the state gives us $319.00” Karen Yeamans

Yeamans also noted that the district will be receiving an increase in Extraordinary Aid of $125,000 over last year as the district ‘gets better and better at doing this reporting’.   

EXPENDITURE

Reductions for this year include:

  • Business Services (-$44,380)
  • School Administration (-$15,000)
  • Professional Development (-$30,500)

Employee benefits costs this year will be $12,138,574.00 an increase of $416,416.00.

BUDGET CHALLENGES

  • General Fund Budget $62.6M
  • Total District Salaries $37.8M (60.4% of budget)
  • Pension and Benefits $12.1M (19.3% of budget)
  • Charter School Tuition $75,660

The TOTAL Tax Levy to 2017-18 is $54,216,429.00 and accounts for 80.24% of total district revenue. The Tax Levy increase is $1,063,067.00, a 2%% increase over last year.

What does this mean to Nutley Homeowners?

  • A tax increase of $83.52 on the average assessed Nutley home of $316,417.00 or 0.264 for every $100.00 in home value.
  • Approximately $20.00 less than last year’s increase due to an $8M increase in town wide valuation effectively decreasing the impact on each homeowner.

After the Budget overview presentation, Board President Danny Carnicella opened the Public Hearing. There were no public comments on the budget.

Read the 2017-18 Advertised Budget for the Nutley Public School District here:

Look for Tapinto Nutley’s coverage of the 4-24-18 regular meeting of the Nutley Board of Education in an upcoming article.