Haddonfield School Board approves budget for 2019-20 school year

Borough residents facing tax increase to accommodate district-wide improvements.

At its most recent meeting, the Haddonfield Board of Education approved its budget for the 2019-20 school year.

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The budget, which will be submitted to the Camden County Office of Education, includes $44,531,759 in total, split between the general fund, the special revenue fund and a debt-service fund. With a general fund tax levy increase of 3.63 percent, the school district is expected to raise $36,737,325 for the general fund and $2,978,679 for debt service.

Borough residents can expect to see an increase of 2.53 percent in taxes over the current academic year’s 1.695 percent, to accommodate the $44 million-plus total approved in the finalized budget.

That means, for an average assessed home of $499,671, taxes are expected to increase by $217.27 in the coming year. That breaks down to an increase of $17.85 per month. 

“I’m really proud of this budget. I think we balanced a lot of initiatives within. You have security, facilities, curriculum, staffing, all things that we’ve needed in previous budgets. This is something that everyone can be proud of,” said Steve Burns, who will depart his role as school district business administrator in the near future.

Included in the budget will be a health-care adjustment cost of $227,061 to offset increases in health-benefit costs. It also includes a banked cap amount of $351,135 – an increase of more than $200,000 from the previous school year – which is needed to improve curriculum, increase staffing and improve services for students across the district. 

Also prevalent in the budget is the use of capital reserve funds in the amount of $270,628. These reserve funds will be used toward funding capital maintenance projects, including playground replacement and additional expenses. The budget also provides for the use of maintenance reserve funds totaling $150,000. Those maintenance funds will be utilized to complete necessary and required maintenance that is required to keep a building and its component systems fully functional throughout its design life. 

The board also established a minimum of $40,000 in general funds, intended to go toward travel and all related expenditures.

“I’m elated with this budget. It does a lot for educational program. I think it stabilizes a lot of positions that were part-time … all of us were spending hours and hours (trying to make up the difference) making those positions full-time. We’re pleased. I think Steve did a great job. I think the board did a great job,” added Superintendent Larry Mussoline. 

A full breakdown of the budget can be found online at: https://haddonfieldschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/BOE-Budget-Presentation-2019-2020-v15-Public-Hearing.pdf.

In other news:

  • The board unanimously approved contracts for Chuck Klaus, covering both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years for his position of assistant superintendent. The former covenant covered the period from March 1 through June 30, while the latter covers the period from July 1 through June 30, 2020.
  • The board also unanimously approved a submission to the Camden County business administrator, a contract for Brian Falkowski to serve as interim school business administrator effective May 15 through June 30, while also doing so for Falkowski at the same position effective July 1 through June 30, 2020. Falkowski will assume the role previously held by Burns.

 

BOB HERPEN
BOB HERPEN
Former radio broadcaster, hockey writer, Current: main beat reporter for Haddonfield, Cherry Hill and points beyond.
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