RP BOE Budget Presentation Meeting (March 17, 2008)

On March 17, 2008, in BOE, Video, by RP Citizens

Patrick Spagnoletti, the Superintendent of Schools, gave a presentation to the Roselle Park High School PTSA before their scheduled monthly meeting. The accompanying presentation can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

RPSD 2008-2009 Budget Presentation

The following is information regarding aspects of the budget that were presented:

  • There was a decrease of 33 students from the 2006-2007 school year to total 2,206 students enrolled in the school district for the 2007-2008 school year.
  • Students in the Special Education Program decreased by 27 students from the previous school year for a present total of 280 students or 13.8% of the school population.
  • The ESL student population increased by 15 students to 183 students and make up 9% of the school population.
  • Special Education costs were increased by 11.4% to make up 17.4% of the budget at $5,020,758. The reason behind the increase from the previous school year was due to a one-time grant provided for the 2007-2008 school year which lessened that year’s budget cost for Special Education.
  • Electricity costs for the 2007-2008 are $327,724 at an increase of 33.2%
  • Heating (Gas) costs are $271,972 which increased by 7.5% from the previous school year.
  • Insurance costs slated for the 2008-2009 school year are $4,014,451 which is an increase of 5.2%.
  • Teachers now contribute to their insurance.
  • The proposed budget for 2008-2009 is $28,851,840.
  • There are 12 new positions slated:
    • (1) Math/Science Director for the District
    • (1) Computer Technician for the District
    • (2) Custodians for the District
    • (3) Math Teachers for the Middle School
    • (2) Part-Time Talented & Gifted Teachers for the Middle School and High School. This position is mandated by New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS)
    • (1) Guidance Counselor for the Elementary Schools.
    • (1) Language Learning Disabled (LLD) Teacher for Robert Gordon School. This position is mandated by Individual Education Programs (IEPs)
    • (1) Special Education Teacher for the High School and Academy. This position is mandated by Individual Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Two (2) part-time Talented & Gifted teachers, as opposed to one (1) full-time teacher, would result in a lower cost to the district due to no benefits provided. Additionally, having one (1) teacher go between the Middle School and High School would involve travel time, which in turn would cut into instruction time. Finally, the schedule of the Middle School does not coincide with the schedule of the High School.
  • The additional of a LLD teacher is due to the increase in LLD students.
  • The Middle School will have an eight (8) period day starting next year.
  • There will be new Language Arts textbooks for grades 6 to 12.
  • There will be new Mathematics textbooks for the High School.
  • The WISE (Widening Interest in Student Experience) Program will be re-instated.
  • Additional technology will be provided to all schools.
  • A second period of Mathematics will be added for Middle School students.
  • The Talented & Gifted program will b e expanded at the Middle School.
  • The Talented & Gifted program will be introduced at the High School.
  • A Scholastics Aptitude Test (SAT) Prep course will be introduced at the High School.
  • An Advanced Chemistry (Chem 2 Honors) course will be added at the High School.
  • New six-week Social Studies programs will be introduced at the High School.
  • Replacement of the High School Bleachers will begin and be completed over three (3) years. If the bleachers were to be done in one (1) year, the cost would be $150,000 to $200,000, which would take up most of the facilities/maintenance budget. In addition, when renovating any such facility, there needs to be included access in line with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The High School track will be re-surfaced.
  • There will be new playground equipment at Aldene School. This was a proactive measure to remove any potentially harmful material that was recently reported in the media. With reference to why Aldene has a playground and the other two (2) elementary school do not; part of the issue deals with the fact that Aldene has always had a playground and the other two schools have limited space for a playground.
  • A new lawnmower will be purchased for the district.
  • New chairs/desks will be purchased for the Middle School and High School.
  • New cafeteria furniture will be purchased for the High School.
  • The courtyard doors at the High School will be replaced. Presently, when it rains, water seeps in through the doors and into the hallway.
  • The High School Boy’s Gym Bathroom will be remodeled. Presently there is one stall for the bathroom. Space for showers will be removed and replaced by more stalls.
  • The Middle School Girl’s 3rd Floor Bathroom will be remodeled.
  • Asbestos tiles at the Middle School will be removed.
  • Asbestos located downstairs at Sherman School will be removed.
  • The front steps at Sherman School will be repaired.
  • The landscaping at Sherman School will be upgraded.
  • District parking lots will be re-surfaced.
  • Mandated programs, which are a result of state and federal mandates that mustbe funded by the school district, were 30.5% of the school district budget at a total of $8,812,456.
  • The school district received word that their health insurance premium increase (10%) will likely be less than was projected at the time it was required to submit their preliminary budget to the county office.
  • Due to that decrease, the Board of Education will go back and revise the proposed budget to reflect no school tax increase in the 2008-2009 school year.
  • The ballot question, which will be voted on April16th, will read “Resolved, that there should be raised for General Funds 16,740,794 for the 2008 – 2009 school year.” This amount is the same amount asked for in last year’s budget.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked how much will the budget increase in 2009-2010. He was notified that, by law, the budget cannot go over 3%. Additionally, the Superintendent stated that the $1.7 million in State Aid is proposed to be provided for three (3) years.
  • Mr. Magiera asked how much is saved with having students stay in district and go to the Academy. The savings minimally is $270,000 a year. There are six (6) students who would incur a cost of $70,000 per student to send out of district, for a total of $420,000 a year. The cost for the lease on the building is $12,500/month which comes out to $150,000/year. $420,000 – $150,000 = $270,000. In addition, each new out-of-district student that is accepted into the Academy would be at a rate where we would receive anywhere between $30,000 – $50,000 per child per year. The difference in sending out of district and receiving into the district is that it costs less to run a program for out-of-district students.
  • What is the surplus from last year? $500,000. By law, the surplus can only be 2%.
  • Does the school district still participate in the Alliances for Competitive Energy Services (ACES) Program for bidding on utilities? The answer was yes.
  • How much do teachers contribute to their benefits? It is $150 a year.
  • Will the new positions that are included in the budget remain for the 2009-2010 school year? Yes.
  • Could grant money be acquired in order to help with the cost for the High School bleachers? There was talk between the municipality and Green Acres to acquire grant money but funding was stopped.
  • Mr. Magiera made a suggestion to see if the school district could partner with Pepsi or Coca-Cola or other business to acquire naming rights. Mr. Spagnoletti stated that such a proposition is not that profitable to such companies due to parental concerns over health and new nutritional guidelines.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there was a way to acquire money from Abbot schools who have better fields than Roselle Park does.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there is a 5, 10, or 15 year program for high cost expenditures where budget money can be saved to pay for them. The superintendent stated that such a rollover is illegal but there is a purchase/lease type of program that is being utilized for the bleachers. The maximum time for schools is a five-year program.
  • Mr. Magiera asked how much of the budget is mandated. He was informed that it was 30.5%. Mr. Magiera wondered where he got a figure of 80%. The superintendent stated that perhaps associated costs, including salaries for teachers, insurance and other such associated items for mandated programs might bring that number higher.
  • In closing, Mr. Magiera asked what is the Board of Education doing to save energy. He was notified that the district is utilizing high efficient furnaces and air conditioners, applying for rebates, using electronic timers, trying to retrofit old buildings, and changing incandescent lighting to florescent.

With no other questions, the presentation ended.