Education

South Plainfield Board of Ed Approves $59.7M Spending Plan

3ae0de8abac48b969176_e085445afef460da4cab_school_budget.jpg
3ae0de8abac48b969176_e085445afef460da4cab_school_budget.jpg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – At their April 27 meeting, the South Plainfield Board of Education (BOE) voted 9-0 in favor of the district’s 2016-2017 budget of $59.7 million. In passing the spending plan, the BOE also approved the elimination of several teaching and/or aide positions and a major revision to the district’s K-4 Spanish program effective September 2016.

“We’ve been working on the budge since August … and I would like to commend the board for their diligent work over the past seven months,” Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joanna Ruberto told the more than 70 residents in attendance. “The budget is not a single person’s budget; it is the result of collaboration, analysis and review.”

By definition, added Ruberto, the school district’s budget is the financial plan that represents the academic programs a district must deliver to the children. “We must always be compliant with the state in the delivery of programs,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield’s 2016-2017 spending plan is comprised of three components: Fund 10 (operating): $57,311,572 of which a little more than 80 percent (or close to $46 million) is personnel costs (salaries and benefits); Fund 20 (local, state and federal grants): $1,170,003; and Fund 40 (repayment of debt): $1,223,625.

Of the total budget, $47.6 million will be raised through local taxes and, as a result, the new tax rate will be approximately 0.3371 percent for an increase of roughly $121/year (or $10/month) on an average South Plainfield home assessed at $122,000. For 2016-2017, the district is anticipating a $33,710 increase in state aid for a total state aid reimbursement of $9.2 million. Additional fund balance and miscellaneous revenue will account for the difference.

“State aid for the state has gone up but the money that goes to the district has remained flat … and funding for special education has been underfunded,” said Ruberto, adding, “They might be putting in the newspaper that schools are getting more state aid and they are when you look at the budget’s amount but is not coming into district … The extra money is going to pay off the debt service for construction and pensions.”

Another factor affecting the district’s budget is that the 2-percent cap in which New Jersey school districts are allowed to increase the tax levy. District’s, however, are allowed to utilize the health benefits waiver to exceed the cap and for 2016-2017, South Plainfield’s utilization of the health benefits waiver is $549,184, to make up the difference over the cap.

The 2016-2017 budget supports, complies and preserves curriculum and programming adhering to the Common Core Standards and the New Jersey Common Core Content Standards as well as special education.

It also maintains class size in K-4, and provides for required curriculum revision and required textbook replacement. Also included is required professional development; the continuation of LinkIt! (data warehouse system and student online testing) and other support programs (IXL, Brain POP, Core Clicks K-5, and Learn 360); maintaining of the district’s athletic program; and the introduction of Robotics III, Latin and Italian III at the high school.

With the cap set at 2 percent – and expenses increasing at much higher rates, even with the waiver – there isn’t a lot of wiggle room left in South Plainfield’s budget. As a result, in establishing the spending plan, the board of education was faced with some difficult decisions.

Among them include the restructuring of the special education department, which will lead to the reduction of numerous paraprofessional positions. Additionally, several tenured and non-tenured teaching positions and a K-4 program will be eliminated and new programs, such as a middle school Italian, which had been proposed to start during the 2016-2017 school year, have been scratched.

Specifically, at the high school, two tenured teacher positions (Spanish and math) will be eliminated due to scheduling while a guidance position and a secretarial position vacated due to retirement will not be refilled. At the elementary level, two non-tenured teachers positions have been eliminated along with two reading support staff (K-5) positions and two tenured foreign language (K-4) positions.

“No one of the board, not one administrator or any of the people we consulted in establishing this budget with have an agenda,” said Ruberto. “The decisions the board made were hard decisions. They were 360 decisions and they weren’t arbitrary. They weren’t made without careful decision.”

The South Plainfield School District, as of April 15, 2016, has an enrollment of 3,531 students among its seven schools (including the Future Stars preschool) and 537 employees (351 certificated, 23 administration and 163 non-certificated such as bus drivers, aides, secretaries, etc.)

TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthPlainfieldTAP/ and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Natalie Stilo Signs with Drew University Golf Team

April 20, 2018

Natalie Stilo, Senior at Bishop George Ahr High School, has signed with Drew University's golf team. Currently, Natalie is on Bishop Ahr's golf team. Golf became her passion after her 10 year career in gymnastics ended. She has been working on her golf game and is excited to have the opportunity to play for Drew. She will attend Drew University in the Fall, majoring in Molecular Biology ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Kennedy School Welcomes Author Lisa Mullarkey

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Teacher and children’s author Lisa Mullarkey stopped by John F. Kennedy Elementary School on April 18. 

“This year’s guest author was very well received by our students and staff. Mrs. Mullarkey spent the day motivating our students to be future writers," said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk. "It was a privilege for our students at ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bbe5d2f368f320d67fab_img_3263

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6fa66652e238649d073e_suburban_woman_s_club

Sun, April 22, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Suburban Woman's Club Luncheon/Fashion Show April ...

Carousel_image_bad097ae8b2fe018094c_mayors_wellness

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

Carousel_image_5cb3a344be063f4eef87_hf_2018_updated-page-001

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

Carousel_image_540ba92b7ee7d0a56fba_elvis_tribute_final

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

Carousel_image_7869a9df10fb5a82bf59_autismawareness18-page-001

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hears Presentation on WWII Air Force Service Pilots

During World War II, one thousand seventy-four aviators, all with prior experience and airman certificates, flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight members of this elite group lost their lives and one went missing in performing their ...

Press Releases

Bill Creating Automatic Voter Registration Now Law

April 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Speaker Craig Coughlin, Gary Schaer, Joann Downey, Daniel Benson, Benjie Wimberly, John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to automatically register and update voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification ...