Council: School budget to be cut

By AUBRIE GEORGE | The Moorestown Sun

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 asked Council 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 more than $100,000 and reducing the 5 percent pay raise that teachers receive on average as ways the 2009–10 school budget could possibly be reduced.

Council appointed Councilmen Michael Testa and John Button to be delegates in a group of school administrators designated to generate ideas for solving the failed budget. The group will begin meeting on Tuesday and will report 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 a future print edition of The Sun for more.