PLAINFIELD, NJ - Interim Superintendent Ronald Bolandi of the Plainfield Public Schools district will conduct a special meeting on April 24 at 7 p.m., unveiling his recommendations for the 2018-2019 school budget.
Prior to learning the amount that the district would receive, Business Administrator Gary Ottmann gave an overview of the district's finances at the March 6 Work & Study meeting. He had said one of the challenges for the district for the current year was an $8 million deficit.
A special meeting was then held on March 15; Ottmann announced that the state will provide Plainfield with $5,772,958, an additional 4.6% in funds, covering almost the entire increase in the district budget. He also said that the amount allocated by the state for charter schools was lowered to $11,258 per student from $12,351, a savings of almost $1.8 million.
At the April 10 Work & Study meeting, Bolandi said, "This has been an interesting budget cycle, and one of the things that I've been looking at since we received our state aid a few weeks ago was the fact that, are there consolidations in the school district that will release money back to us so we can then take that money and look at programs such as bilingual education and remediation," and other things the district needs.
Bolandi continued at the Work & Study meeting, saying, "We're at a stage now where I'm prepared to start to make recommendations to the board based on that reorganization, and based on what I believe could be personnel changes that can benefit the district," stressing that the classroom would remain intact. "I'm looking at a scenario that would reduce very few people and only in certain categories, and it would be minimal. But, that process requires a lengthy discussion in executive session about personnel changes in the district."
At Tuesday's business meeting, Bolandi said of April 24, "I'm hoping we have a lot of people there, because that budget presentation will begin the reorganization and moving this district, at a different level, moving it forward. So I'm looking forward to making that presentation; there will be a number of things that I think are going to be exciting to you. I think there are things that we need to look at to move this district in a positive way."
The budget meeting is open to the public, and parents, teachers and residents are all encouraged to attend. It will be held in the auditorium at Plainfield High School, 950 Park Ave. at 7 p.m.