Bernards to Introduce School Budget Monday With Aid Figure in Place
School officials were waiting to plug in state aid figure, which arrived on Thursday at the same as previous year.
Bernards Township school officials already were finishing up a proposed 2013-14 school budget to introduce next Monday when state aid figures for next year were announced on Thursday, providing township schools with about $3 million, same as the previous year.
A public presentation of next year's budget figures is scheduled for that meeting, according to the board office. A final adoption of previously proposed changes to the 2013-14 school calendar also is scheduled for Monday's meeting.
Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian confirmed late Thursday afternoon that the $3,057,466 state aid figure announced a few hours earlier by the N.J. Department of Education was the same as state aid for 2012-13, the current school year.
A public hearing and final vote on whether to adopt the budget is scheduled for March 28 at a school board meeting also to be held at the Ridge PAC.
The meeting was moved up a week, and the March 11 meeting canceled, according to the latest board meeting schedule.
Under revised state regulations put in place last year, the school board does not need to present next year's school budget for a public vote as long as the plan remains under a two-percent cap on spending increases.
Last year was the first year that the school board adopted a budget without putting it up for a public vote. Under the same change in operating procedures, the election for school board candidates was moved from April to November, as part of each year's general election.
The total $93-million school budget for this year was a two-percent increase above the 2011-12 budget. School board members approved the budget unanimously last March, adopting a total budget with a $75,856,316 taxpayer contribution for 2012-13.
Last year's state aid figure of about $3 million was an increase from the previous year, when Bernards Township received $2.4 million in state aid for the 2011-12 school year.
Bernards had received more than $3 million in aid prior to 2010-11, when Christie cut aid to districts around the state to curb state spending, and Bernards' aid initially was cut to less than $900,000 for that year.