Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Budget Update

Every year, the Harding Township School District examines all expenditures and continues to employ fiscal responsibility. During the last school year, and upon the direction of former NJDOE commissioner Lucille Davy, the school district froze all non-essential and discretionary funds “given the uncertainty of the magnitude and impact of a prolonged national recession on our state’s fiscal situation.”

The district followed this directive, subsequently lost $572,179 (6.3% of the district’s overall budget) and was held flat to the prior year following a budget defeat. Combined with a 2% property tax cap, these fiscal events will hinder HTS short-term and long-term plans.

A pending special education situation will add another level of unanticipated expenditures to the already depleted budget. The district spends $1,015,593 in out-of-district placements and $1,832,564 in special education costs (9.4% of the entire budget). A current line-by-line analysis of the school budget yields a projected shortfall in June of $86,053.65.

Additional areas of concern include unexpected legal fees (tied to out-of-district placements), and building maintenance costs. Substantial repairs were required this summer to the existing ‘Mondo’ tiles in each building. The elementary school is built on a concrete slab and the excessive ground moisture is constantly pushing the rubber tiles up from below. Going forward, we will need to address a solution to this situation. Electrician expenses were also large over the summer. There are many varying voltages and amperes throughout the buildings and the gradual restoration of our heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems have demanded costly upgrades.
Post a Comment