RP BOE Meeting (September 15, 2009)

On September 15, 2009, in BOE, Video, by RP Citizens

The superintendent and all board members were in attendance. The board attorney was not present.

The board was in closed session to discuss agenda item #1.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked how much federal and state funds are given to the schools in addition to funds collected from Roselle Park municipal taxes. He was notified that the school system’s budget is $30,000,000 and that 60% is from state aid (~$18,000,000) with the rest coming from the school district’s portion of municipal taxes.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to clarify the statement that the schools receive 54% of municipal taxes. He was notified that the money collected for the schools is not up front but given on the back end and the percentage is not fixed; it changes from year to year. The percentage of the school’s portion of the total property taxes has gone down over the years.
  • Mrs. Guercio explained the percentage taken from property taxes collected and that the percentage is a result of budgeted funds projected, not the other way around where the percentage dictates the monetary funds. Sometimes there has been a flat tax rate and other years there has been a small increase.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if a better breakdown could be given to show the portion paid by Roselle Park residents and the portion given through state and federal aid. Mrs. Guercio stated that those breakdowns are provided in every annual budget when voted on. Mr. Magiera stated if there was another way to give the information out. Mr. Spagnoletti stated that something could be put on the web site.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that there are some residents who do not have TV-34 and that perhaps a flier could be distributed through the schools. Mr. Spagnoletti stated that this would cost money. Mr. Magiera stated that the cost of paper and copying for 2,100 children would be minimal. While Mr. Spagnoletti agreed that the cost would be minimal, it is the distribution to those who do not have children in the school system that would be a focus since most school parents understand where funds are going.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that at a council meeting Mr. Glenn Marczewski spoke on helmets for children and a company that would provide helmets at a reduced cost. Mr. Marczewski was notified that a request would have to come from the school system in order to have the reduced cost program be in effect. Mr. Spagnoletti stated he took the information given by Mr. Marczewski and distributed to the schools. Mr. Magiera stated that the Board of Education is responsible for the children of the borough and it is up to the BOE to find information on helmets.
  • Mrs. Cindea agreed with Mr. Magiera’s statement regarding the BOW being responsible for the children but she wanted to state that the children have parents. Mr. Magiera stated that the BOE could enlighten the parents. Mrs. Cindea stated that while getting helmets for children is no big deal for parents, she saw no problem with helping someone who cannot afford a helmet.
  • Mrs. Panetta stated that perhaps the BOE could use TV-34 to put a reminder on air and to also remind parents during the back-to-school nights regarding helmets and safety. Mrs. Panetta stated that she did not believe Mr. Magiera was implying that the BOE should pay for the helmets but that they could get the message out regarding helmets.
  • Mr. Magiera agreed and stated that the school system has to apply in order to get helmets at a reduced rate. Mr. Spagnoletti stated that the school could get information out through the DARE and police liaison to the schools to remind children of bike safety.
  • Mrs. Kinloch stated that when her husband was on council there was a helmet reward program and that she believes that biking with a helmet is a law. She was told that the program is still in existence and that the law is in effect for children (under 18).
  • Mr. Iachio asked if anyone has brought this information up to mayor & council. He also stated that it is the parent’s responsibility with regard to bike safety.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that we are a community and helping each other out is part of what Roselle Park is about.
  • Mr. Iachio asked if the schools must request information to have the helmets available at a reduced cost for parents. Mr. Iachio wanted to confirm that the helmets would not be purchased by the school system. He was notified by Mr. Magiera the helmets would be ordered by the parents. Mr. Iachio asked if this could be addressed through a PTA fundraiser. Mr. Iachio asked if information could be provided to the BOE. Mr. Magiera stated that Glen Marczewski did in the spring. Mr. Spagnoletti stated he received the information and provided it to the schools. If there is additional information, the BOE would be happy to distribute it.

Saul Qersdyn

  • With regard to the budget and the effect on municipal taxes, Mr. Qersdyn wanted to confirm that the school district’s budget year is not the same as the municipality’s budget year. He was notified that the school budget year is from July 1st to June 30th – the municipality’s budget year is from January 1st to December 31st. Mr. Qersdyn stated that even though one year might have a small increase in the schools budget and a no-increase the following year, the overall property tax portion would be an average of both since the tax bill is based on a calendar year. This was confirmed.

The public portion was closed with no one else coming before the podium.

Agenda Items

Personnel

  • Agenda items #1 through #7 were moved and seconded.
    • Mr. Genovese abstained on item #1.
    • Mr. Leinberger abstained on item #4.
    • Mrs. Panetta abstained on item #1.
  • All items were voted on and passed.

Education

  • Agenda item #8 was moved, seconded, voted on, and carried.

Business

  • Agenda items # 9 through #17 was moved and seconded. Mr. Balaban asked with regard to item #14 if these grants would go into the schools. He was notified that these are mandated by the government and they have a say where they go.
  • Item #9 through #17 were voted on and approved.

Committee/Liaison Reports

  • None

Continuing Business

  • None

New Business

  • Mr. iachio stated that the schools opened (including the Academy and the ECDC) without incident. The Board spoke of the work done on the Youth Center and all the time put into it to have it completed to open for the 2009-2010 school year. The custodians were written a letter of recommendation for all their hard work. Mrs. Cindea stated that the outside of all the schools look splendid. Mrs. Panetta stated that the athletic fields and the grass look great.

Public Portion

Saul Qersdyn

  • Mr. Qersdyn asked regarding the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. He was notified that they meet on the third Monday of every month at 10 am at the high school. Anyone can attend and once someone attends they will be put on the mailing list for the committee. The next meeting is Monday, September 21, 2009, at 10 a.m.

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked for a breakdown of the students at the Academy and at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). He was notified that he could call the following day to get the specific numbers but it is approximately 23 students at the Academy and 26 students at the ECDC with around 12 of them being tuition-based students and 14 being in the special education program.
  • Mr. Magiera asked regarding the $1.5 million in state aid given a few years back that was supposed to be for three (3) years. he was notified that the fund being referred to was because the district was below adequacy in spending and was given an increase of 20% – around $1.5 million. That figure was then calculated into the following years’ budgets.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if it would be appropriate to recognize the veterans and service personnel oversea in active duty with a yellow ribbon program. He was notified that there are ribbons on tress in front of schools and that it is a good idea. Mr. Spagnoletti stated he would bring it up at the PTA council meeting on September 21st.

The public portion was closed.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

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