Westfield Board of Education Discusses School Budget in Advance of Release of State Funding Figures

Westfield Board of Education Discusses School Budget in Advance of Release of State Funding Figures

WESTFIELD, NJ - The Westfield Board of Education met Tuesday night to discuss the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 school year in response to projected state aid figures prior to the release of state funding figures by the New Jersey Department of Education the following day.

The Board was shocked and disappointed to learn that the projection for state funding for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year would amount to a reduction of 92%. This would mean that the amount of state aid offered would drop down to less than 1% of the overall budget and the district would stand to lose approximately $4,250,000.00. 

The Board previously had created a budget plan taking into account a few possible scenarios.  They anticipated the worst case scenario being a 15% loss of State funding to the district. If this proved to be the case, the Westfield School District would stand to lose approximately $750,000.00 in their state aid funding. The district currently attributes approximately 6% of their yearly budget to state aid funding.

"We must proceed tonight intelligently. But we do not have actual State numbers as of yet and we can't ignore it," explained Superintendent Dolan. "In light of this very bad fiscal news we have received, we must have an open minded perspective. We have one week, until March 23rd, to approve the budget numbers and forward them to the County Superintendent. The Board will then announce the final approval by March 30th." 

The district may need to cut administrators and teachers, current programs and resources within the schools. The Board members announced that they will do all they can and work nonstop to find ways of avoiding these outcomes.

Dr. Dolan further explained that several emails have gone out to administrators, teachers and the community asking everyone to work together to find a solution to this extremely difficult situation. There was also an administration meeting held on Tuesday to discuss possible options, look at each individual line item again and try to find some answers.

"The solution for this has to come from a combination of things. Dr. Dolan's plan to go to all the heads of various associations for suggestions is a step forward, but will not solve the problem," stated Board Member Richard Solomon. "Then there is the option of raising more money through raising the property taxes, which of course, no one wants. There's no doubt that there are some very serious things that are going to happen in the next couple of weeks."

"We cannot lose sight of the fact that we have worked to build a great system and we will not throw it away," said Board Member Gary McCready.

This coming Saturday, the 20th, the Board will hold the phase two portion of its Strategic Planning Session, where the budget will be the main concern. 

"We have worked since last summer to contain costs, going over what was available with the employees, parents and the Board. We are the decision makers because we all have a firsthand understanding of how the system works," said Board Member Julia Walker. "We are fortunate in that we all have the same goal and we will work very hard to find a solution. That is not the case in all districts."

Last year, Westfield was forced to cut twenty-four employee positions as well as forty-one stipends.

"Last year was bad, I just cannot believe how this year can be so much worse," said Board member Jane Clancy. "I am just tired of feeling punished for doing the right thing. I am simply dumbfounded."

The public is also urged to offer any ideas that they can provide to shed some light on ways to save current programs, jobs and the level of education that the Westfield community has come to expect. If you do have ideas about how to work with the lack of funding for the new year, Dr. Dolan has asked that you contact her or the Board.

"We are looking at things through a very different lens now," said Board Member Ginny Leiz. "But if any community can do this, figure it out, we can."

There will be a public hearing meeting held on March 30th.

Editor's Note:  Yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Education released district-by-district state funding figures.  Westfield, which received $4,670,514 last year, will receive $448,345 this coming year.  Click here to view a spreadsheet of district-by-district state funding figures.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Democratic Committee Elects New Chair

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari won with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice


Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Wacky Winter Olympics Open House



Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story & Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble


Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.


February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.


The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...