SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – At their April 26 meeting, the South Plainfield Board of Education (BOE) approved the district’s 2017-2018 budget of $60,638,671. The spending plan, which comes in below the state mandated 2-percent tax cap, passed by a vote of 7-0.
"South Plainfield administration, along with the board of education, worked to ensure the needs of the district were met in this fiscally responsible budget,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Noreen Lishak. “I felt it was important to examine all areas of the budget reallocating, funds as necessary. It was a common theme amongst the administration and the board of education to bring the budget in under cap while providing a quality education to the children of South Plainfield.”
The $60.6M budget is a financial plan that allocates money for all of the previously existing services and programs, and in addition, provides for numerous new initiatives in the areas of special services and important building and grounds projects that were not included in the bond referendum.
“We are looking forward to maintaining or decreasing our class sizes by adding four new elementary teachers, providing for a school resource officer, continuing the expansion of educational technology, and instituting a true STEM initiative,” said Dr. Lishak, adding, “Our budget includes the addition of STEM courses at South Plainfield High School, new textbooks and digital resources at various grade levels, technology upgrades, and the purchase of two school buses.”
Of the total budget, $48,491,198 will be raised through local taxes. As a result, the new school tax rate will be approximately .03430 or an increase of roughly $89/year for an average South Plainfield home assessed at $122,038. For 2017-2018, the district is anticipating to receive a state aid reimbursement of $10,580,036. Additional fund balance and miscellaneous revenue will fund the remaining difference.
“This budget is a good one in that it actually increases staffing, programs, and educational opportunities for the students while coming in less than the cap,” said Board of Education President Bill Seesselberg.
Doug Chapman, chair of the board’s finance committee, added, "It was a real pleasure working through the process with the administrators and the entire finance committee. Good collaborative thinking with folks who understand the uses of money was a huge benefit to the process."
The South Plainfield School District, as of April 2017, has an enrollment of 3,553 students among its seven schools (including preschool) and 541 employees.
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