On Tuesday, April 30, the Cinnaminson Board of Education held a public hearing on the proposed 2019-2020 budget. While the meeting’s agenda left a section for public opinions, questions or concerns to be addressed, the public agreed on the budget and the board of education approved it for the upcoming year.
Prior to approving the budget, board member Thomas Egan Jr. presented a slideshow to explain the 2019-2020 budget.
The budget objectives included nine goals for the new year. These included that the budget will provide quality education and create efficiencies and value for stakeholders of the district, realistically assess the financial needs of the district, support the improvement of the curriculum with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and allow the staff levels to reflect the student populations through class size targets. The targets with this budget will be 18 to 22 students for grades K-2, 22-25 for grades 3-5, 24-30 for grades 6-8 and 25-30 for grades 9-12.
Other budget objectives included training and development of board members, administration, teaching staff and support staff. The budget will continue to support technology needs for the district, busing, maintenance and upkeep, and the budget will provide the necessary funds to meet the school safety and security audit needs.
The 2019-2020 budget received a $374,948 increase in state aid that allowed the total budget to reach $52,521,000. According to Egan, this increase allowed the board to apply the money to tax relief so that residents won’t have to pay a large increase in their taxes.
“The $374,948 we got in state aid, we applied a little over $292,000 to tax relief,” said Egan. “That’s about 78 percent of it. What that does is it’s going to bring the rate in which we increase our taxes down so that it’s a lower value. So what will go out to the residents will be a smaller piece of the tax impact.”
The average home assessment in Cinnaminson is worth $234,115, and due to the tax relief from the state aid increase, the approximate tax increase on the average home is $62.62 a year or $5.21 a month.
After discussing how the budget is split between all of the school district’s expenses and how the budget will impact the taxes, Egan ended the presentation by touching on a few highlights of the budget. These included that the school district will be continuing all existing programs. There will also be four additional positions created to continue to maintain the enrollment growth and teacher-to-student ratio. These positions will be two part-time positions at the New Albany School, a full-time social studies teacher at the middle school and a full-time science teacher at the middle school.
Also, the budget will continue to help repair concrete at the schools, replace floor tile at the Eleanor Rush and New Albany schools and continue to repave the high school parking lot. Due to a 15-year bus shelf life, the school district will be getting five new buses. Lastly, the Class Three Officer Program will be expanded.
“We used to have a school resource officer,” said Egan. “It was one officer that did a rotation through our buildings. Now we do a shared program with the township, and they provide these officers. They’re called class three because they dress in a police uniform and they drive in a police vehicle and now they work in each of our buildings. It’s really a neat program. The kids like it. They look up to them and it’s working out.“