West Essex Board of Education Approves Budget with 2.51-Percent Tax Increase


NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — A 2017-18 school budget amounting to $39,968,069 with a local tax levy of $37,350,460 was unanimously approved on Monday by the West Essex Regional Board of Education.

The budget includes a $228,094 adjustment to the base budget for enrollment and an allowable adjustment of $70,000 to the base budget that will be used for classroom renovations in the middle school, according to the board.

According to board secretary/school business administrator Melissa Kida, the spending plan includes $6,018,683 for employee benefits and $183,370 for capital outlay.

Sign Up for E-News

She noted that 35.8 percent of the budget will be spent on regular education and 16.5 percent on special education.

Kida added that state aid to the district remained “flat,” while expenses for employee health plan coverage would increase at least 15 percent and at least two of the district’s bargaining units are negotiating new contracts this year.

She also pointed out that new staff members would be hired to support five new programs this year. New courses include four in the art and music category, eight new English semester courses and, in the advanced-placement category, a new course in human geography.

A total of $200,000 is being spent on technology improvements, including an iMac computer lab and the purchase of 26 new iMac computers for the high school to support some of the new courses and new software specific to the classes.

Continuous maintenance of school buildings will yield a price tag of $125,000, including replacement of existing lighting with LED lighting and many other renovations, the business administrator said.

The overall local tax levy, including debt service, will increase by 2.51 percent, which is lower than the increases for local schools in the four communities that send students to the seventh-to-12-grade regional district, Kida noted.

She estimated the annual taxes on average homes in support of the regional district as follows:

  • Essex Fells—$355.31
  • Fairfield—$23.78
  • North Caldwell—$144.62
  • Roseland—$91.43

In response to a question from board member Judith Amorim Dias, the business administrator said the district’s insurance broker is calculating the district’s experience rating and will compare the West Essex rates paid under the state employee healthcare plan, to which the district belongs, to private plans to see if the state plan is more advantageous to the district.

To read more about this meeting, during which the high school field hockey team and others were honored by the board, click HERE. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

West Orange Restaurant Week Heads Into Weekend; Don't Miss These Offers

March 16, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Restaurants and eateries from throughout West Orange are currently participating in the Downtown West Orange Alliance’s (DWOA) second annual Restaurant Week, which wraps up on Saturday.

There will also be an opportunity to win $250 in restaurant gift certificates for purchases made during Restaurant Week.

For every purchase made at ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, March 18, 12:00 PM

West Essex Middle School Gym, North Caldwell

West Essex Class of 2020 Tricky Tray



Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

West Caldwell Public Library, West Caldwell

Irish Folk Music Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, March 19, 2:00 PM

Fairfield Free Public Library, Fairfield

Pre-K Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Education

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Anyone at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m. might have been exposed to measles and should contact their health care provider, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH).

The NJDH has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Obituary for Anne M. Gaeta (Corona) Anne M. Gaeta, nee Corona, 86, of Roseland, NJ, beloved ...
Read more
- Mar 11, 2018
Walter E. Hanley, Jr., 82, of Fairfield, New Jersey, passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Beloved ...
Read more
Dec 11, 1941 - Mar 13, 2018
Roslyn Elaine Prosperi (nee Flexer),76, of Fairfield, NJ, passed away on Tuesday March 13, 2018.
Read more
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - The Honorable Robert L. Reiher, 83, of Bonita Springs, FL and Ocean Beach, NJ, ...
Read more
  WEST CALDWELL, NJ - After a long illness, 6 years old Juliana Rose Donnelly died ...
Read more
WEST ESSEX, NJ - Thomas (Tom) A. Callahan Sr. passed away at the age of 73 at his home in ...
Read more
William Francis Verhaegen, Jr., of Aliso Viejo, California, died suddenly at Saddleback Memorial ...
Read more

Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party Set For March 16

March 12, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - The annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party fundraiser affair is coming up.

The event, which will be held Friday, March 16 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, is focused on raising funds to support Komen’s BOLD GOAL:  to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by the year 2026, by improving access to quality and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...