Board of Education unanimously votes to approve 2017–2018 budget

The total budget is $69.71 million with $66.46 million to be raised through taxation.

The Moorestown Board of Education unanimously approved the 2017–2018 budget after a public hearing held at its April meeting.

The total budget is $69.71 million, with $66.46 million to be raised through taxation. This includes approximately $4.76 million in debt service. The budget is an increase from last year’s budget of $67.99 million, and it will include a tax levy increase of 2 percent, the state’s cap.

With the new budget in place, school taxes will increase approximately $102 for the year for the average Moorestown home valued at $534,100. This brings the total amount paid in school taxes to $8,870 for the average home.

Salaries make up 60 percent of budget expenditures, while benefits make up 21 percent. All other items make up 19 percent of the total budget. State aid will remain flat at $3.19 million.

Business administrator Joanne D’Angelo gave the presentation on the budget, and started off with the budget goals and priorities.

“We want to sustain and expand regular academic programs, extend opportunities for learning growth and innovation, maintain extracurricular programs, support facility maintenance and cultivate new revenue generation options,” D’Angelo said.

Adjustments made include facility and technology reductions. Science, technology and math textbooks, fine and performing arts and new curriculum such as video production and citizen enrichment courses are among curriculum included in the budget.

The budget also includes LED lighting in the hallways, cafeteria, gym and 10 classrooms at the George C. Baker Elementary School, exterior lighting at the Moorestown Upper Elementary School and William W. Allen Middle School and the replacement of multiple school buses.

The district also plans to replace staff laptops and document cameras and purchase Chromebook carts, but denied several requests including painting, scoreboards and new Chromebooks.

Superintendent Scott McCartney says he made the recommendation to hold off on some of these additional purchases to focus efforts on the connection points between curriculum and technology. McCartney also spoke of the hard work the staff put in to complete the budget, starting almost as soon as the school year ends.