Council meets again on School budget

Council met on Monday for a second meeting on the 2009–10 defeated school budget. Like last week’s meeting, the auditorium was filled to capacity with teachers, school administrators, parents and students — many of them wishing to voice opinions on whether or not Council should recommend cuts to the failed $68 million spending plan or leave it as is.

Council’s delegates to a group of school administrators and board members assigned to solving the budget’s problems, John Button and Michael Testa, did not have concrete numbers or information to report at the meeting. Button said group members would continue collaborative discussion into the coming week and that they would strive to fulfill their responsibility to the taxpayers without compromising education.

A number of teachers, district parents and students addressed Council, asking them to accept the budget as is as to not take away from the quality of academic, extra-curricular and athletic programs that have helped build Moorestown’s above-average reputation.

Last week, Council made preliminary recommendations on areas where money could possibly be saved. Recommendations included 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. This week, Council members said everything remains on the table for discussion and encouraged audience members to continue contacting them with additional suggestions.

Council will meet again on May 18 to finalize decisions on the defeated budget’s tax levy before submitting their formal recommendation to the county superintendent’s office on May 19.

Check a future print edition of The Sun for more information on Monday’s meeting.