HomeHaddonfield NewsPreliminary school budget includes tax levy increase

Preliminary school budget includes tax levy increase

The Haddonfield Board of Education adopted a preliminary budget on Monday, March 4 to allow for a 1.98 percent school tax levy increase in the 2013–2014 budget.

Any budget under the state-mandated 2 percent cap does not need to be voted on by residents.

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The preliminary budget is due to Camden County on Thursday, March 7, Business Administrator Dawn Leary said.

Following the review and approval from the county superintendent, the school district will hold a public hearing and final adoption of the budget, Board President Steve Weinstein said, explaining that it is possible that the numbers could change.

In the preliminary budget, an average assessed home of $491,359 in the borough will see an increase of $194.40 in school taxes per year, or $16.20 per month, according to Superintendent Dr. Richard Perry during the budget presentation.

The tax reflects a decrease of $19 million in town rateables, due to residents challenging the assessed values of their homes, he said.

The district received a $32,348 increase in state aid, “which was very exciting,” Leary said.

“Extra money’s always a good thing,” she said.

According to Perry, the budget had been ironed out under the assumption of flat state aid.

“This helps us maintain all the programs and staffing that we currently have,” he said.

Plus, the district can include some additions, including putting more money into curriculum initiatives to prepare for state-mandated programs.

“I feel that we don’t have enough supervisors in the district,” he said.

$75,000 is included in the budget for a part-time administrator on a temporary basis to help with the teacher evaluation system as a recommendation by Perry.

Dependent on actions at the state level, the position may be continued or scaled back and will be re-evaluated after one year, he said.

Capital projects were also highlighted at the meeting, with $303,000 budgeted for facilities, including safety, improvements.

Technology upgrades are on the horizon, with $190,000 budgeted in hopes to upgrade 2000 computers, though John Miller, director of information technology, will make the final call, board member Andrew Berlin said.

The plan is to buy three-year-old refurbished computers at a discounted rate, Berlin said.

Computer upgrades in the district will be completed in phases, Perry said.

View the complete budget presentation by visiting http://www.haddonfield.k12.nj.us.

QSAC update

A county administration team visited the school district recently to review the QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum), Perry said.

The team reviewed every aspect of the district from top to bottom, including operations, personnel, a tour of the buildings and classrooms and a debriefing with administrators.

“We did very well,” Perry said. “They’re very interested in our district.”

Formal reports will be in at a date yet to be determined.

“You always have room for improvement,” he said, but the team raved about the district’s test scores, curriculum initiatives and the uniqueness of the Haddonfield community.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Haddonfield Board of Education will be held on March 21 in the high school library at 7:30 p.m.

There is to be a public hearing and final adoption on the 2013–2014 school budget.

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