Council held its first meeting to discuss the defeated 2009–10 school budget on Monday in an auditorium filled to capacity with teachers, administrators, parents and students.
Several teachers addressed Council, asking it to consider leaving the budget as it was proposed by the Board of Education. Council members expressed that they do intend to reduce the budget for the sake of the taxpayers and that their goal was to work collaboratively with school administrators to solve for the budget’s problems without negatively impacting the district’s educational, extra-curricular and athletic programs. Mayor Dan Roccato said the purpose of Monday’s meeting was to bring in suggestions from the public and that everything is on the table at this point.
Council pointed out ideas such as increasing teacher contributions to health care plans, implementing salary freezes for teachers and administrators that make over $100,000 and reducing the five percent pay raise that teacher’s receive on average as ways the 2009–10 school budget could possibly realize a reduction.
Council appointed Councilmen Michael Testa and John Button to be delegates in a group of school administrators that is designated to generating ideas around solving for the failed budget. The group will begin meeting on Tuesday and will report back to Council on any progress they make this week at the next budget workshop, which is scheduled for May 11.
The deadline for Council to make decisions regarding reductions in the school budget is May 19.
Check this week’s print edition of The Moorestown Sun for more information on Monday’s meeting.