MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Local taxes will fund 89 percent of the South Orange Maplewood School District’s income for the 2021-22 school year.

“That used to be about 94 percent,” said Board Secretary Paul Roth. “The district has been very successful in getting other revenue streams coming in — the preschool expansion grant being a major one that contributed to that drop.”

State aid will account for 8 percent of the revenue. Debt service aid, state and federal entitlement grants and miscellaneous revenue will all make up 1 percent.

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Secretary Paul Roth presented the overview of the preliminary budget for the 2021-22 school year. State/federal entitlement grant funding dropped 30 percent from last year. This is mostly due to one time payments the district received and because the state/federal grants are not reapplied for until June.

A $3.3 million increase in salaries and contract services will go towards contractual salary increases, hiring clerical support for the assistant superintendent of diversity and weekly deep cleanings, among other things. Contract services for lunch monitors and paraprofessionals also had to be returned to the budget.

“I’m hoping that in September we have a full seven and a half hour school day again with lunch, recess and all those other wonderful things, so those positions are back,” said Roth.

“We have increased funding for summer programs. I’m anticipating a need for more programs to help students catch up on instructional needs,” Roth added.

Roth also announced that one of the district’s elementary school projects, part of the long range facilities plan, has received the necessary approvals to move forward. He also reported that three other projects are awaiting a supervisor’s signature at the Department of Education and should be approved very soon.

“It looks like we have our first four projects just about approved at this point, so we are getting very close,” said Roth.

These projects moving forward should have a positive impact on the district’s ability to have full time in person classes this September.



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