WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Board of Education presented and approved a tentative budget for the 2017-2018 school year at Thursday night’s meeting. The proposed budget has increased by more than $100,000 since the budget presentation at the March 1 meeting.

Since then, the board learned that they will receive the same amount of state aid as they did the previous year, $4,007,999.

“As we had thought, the state aid stayed at exactly the same level,” Dana Sullivan, the board’s business administrator, said. “Because state aid has stayed stable and our budget is of course going up, the percentage of our budget from the state is going down.”

Sign Up for E-News

Following information from the state, the operating budget rose to a total of $103,481,072.

According to Sullivan, the increase in health insurance, salaries and utilities is responsible for the bulk of the increase in expenditures.

The board previously sought a budget of $750,000 of fund balance as revenue, but has since increased it to $913,799.

However, the proposed school tax rate on average homes has not changed since the last meeting. The tax is still expected to rise to $9,425, a 2.7 percent increase.

The board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 25, before adopting the final budget.

Following the approval of the budget, superintendent Margaret Dolan announced the retirement of five Westfield school staff members:

  • Stewart Carey, principal of Roosevelt Intermediate School following physical education and coaching positions within Westfield schools. He has worked in the Westfield school system for 48 years.
  • Jeanette Munoz, principal of Jefferson Elementary School for 14 years.
  • Moira Abraham, librarian of Roosevelt Intermediate School since 1993.
  • Suzanne Hanas, a secretary of Roosevelt Intermediate School for 11 years.
  • Patricia Marchiano, a mathematics teacher at Westfield High School, who came to the Westfield school system after a successful career as an engineer.

“These educators have served Westfield and the students of Westfield very well, and they will be missed,” Dolan said.

Lastly, the board entered a private session “for the purpose of discussing legal matters and harassment, intimidation and bullying incidents,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.