WESTFIELD, NJ - National Merit finalists were given certificates of appreciation and a presentation on the 2014-2015 budget was given at the Board of Education Meeting on March 4.

Of the seven WHS National Merit Finalists, three attended the meeting. Mark Gillespie, Jill Rosenfeld and Kristin Hauge received certificates at the meeting from Mattessich. The remaining finalists--Lily Wang, Rachel Holtzman, Alexander Beals and Alexandra Mossawia--will receive their certificates at school.

“According to the National Merit scholarship Corporation, the nationwide pool of finalists represents approximately one percent of U.S. high school seniors,” said board president Richard Mattessich. “You are among the highest scoring entrants in the nation on the Preliminary SAT National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.”

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“We on the Westfield Board of Education applaud your hard work, your achievement and commitment to your education, and we wish you continued success," said Mattessich.

Business Administrator Dana Sullivan gave a presentation on the 2014-2015 proposed budget.

“80 percent of our budget is staff and enrollment,” said Sullivan.

The total budget, which did not yet include possible grants that may be allocated throughout the year, increased by $861,035 from the 2013-2014 budget. This amount included a $66,677 increase in state-aid to about $4.3 million, an $124,000 increase in the operating budget and a $57,323 decrease in debt service.

To cover the cost of the operating budget a tax levy will be issued at a $290 increase on average homeowners from the 2013-2014 levy.

According to NJDOE Taxpayer’s Guide to Spending Westfield Public School, cost per pupil was at $12,133 in comparison to the state average of $13,738 in the 2011-2012 school year, the last year of published results.

The next board meeting and adoption of the tentative budget will be on March 11 at 7:30 p.m.