SPARTA, NJ – This is the time of year when school districts, especially the business administrators, hold their breath and cross their fingers waiting for the announcement of state aid figures from Trenton. They are required to be released within two of days of the Governor’s State of the State address.
The numbers were released today. Sparta is slated to receive exactly the same amount of aid this year as last. The total aid is reported to be $5,946,150. The aid is broken into several categories:
- Equalization Aid - $2,488,733
- Transportation Aid - $1,105,532
- Special Education Aid - $2,030,137
- Security Aid - $252,688
- PARCC Readiness Aid - $33,030
- Per Pupil Growth Aid - $33,030
Both PARCC Readiness and Per Pupil Growth Aid are new categories of funding. Each of these categories received $13.5 million to be distributed to districts throughout the state.
In Sparta the budget discussion has been ongoing with board of education members and the administrators. Superintendent Dennis Tobin has made it clear that he would like the board to approve funds to provide full day kindergarten beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. Tobin has estimated this will cost $650, 248. Board members will be asked to vote on a resolution to add this amount to the budget for Full Day Kindergarten at the board meeting on Monday, March 2, postponed from last Monday.
Another initiative the board members will be asked to approve is a STEM Academy at the High School. This specialized program will offer advanced studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to interested students.
A presentation of the 2015-2016 Preliminary Budget Review is also scheduled for the Monday meeting.