The Moorestown board of education held its second monthly meeting on March 22 to approve its proposed 2022-’23 district budget.
Board Secretary and Business Administrator James Heiser emphasized the focal points in budget development: prioritizing board committees and administration; evaluating the needs of the district related to technology, curriculum, personnel and facilities; developing school budgets based on the needs of the faculty and content supervisors; and updating revenues and appropriations over time based on finalized numbers.
“Typically in January, the budget process is a lot more of a fluid process, and it starts to be honed in January through February,” Heiser explained. “And it really starts to heat up in March as we start to get finalized numbers.”
The board discussed the proposed budget on March 8 and continued to address additional updates.
“What happens after today, if the budget is approved for me to submit it to the county, I submit it to the county (and) it’s due by March 28,” Heiser said. “The county then reviews it; it goes through a state approval process, and then they approve it to be advertised for the public. And the (final) budget adoption and the public hearing is scheduled for April 26.”
Later in the meeting came the board’s vote to adopt the tentative budget. Superintendent Michael Volpe then addressed other highlights of the plan, including use of Care Solace, a social and emotional-learning service that works with districts to support quality mental health; replacement of devices such as Chromebooks, iPads and laptops; an upgrade in internet security and infrastructure; and revision of the current curriculum to provide teachers with adequate resources for professional development.
“When it comes to this budget, we want to keep it aligned with our values and we want to keep moving forward,” Volpe said.
Board President Maurice Weeks addressed the financial plan earlier in the meeting.
“Not only is the budget that will be proposed balanced, it also contains new and enhanced programs that are aligned with our strategic goals of providing a world class learning environment for our students,” he said.
“In an era of constrained resources, increasing costs and the ongoing challenges of preserving the unparalleled learning experience that Moorestown is known and respected for, I believe that we are on the right path with this budget and these negotiations,” Weeks added.
In other news, a special meeting will take place on April 5 so the board can interview candidates to fill a seat vacated by Jack Fairchild. A decision will be announced either before or during the board’s April 26 session.
Volpe discussed COVID updates in his superintendent’s monthly report.
“I am anticipating that by the middle of next week, it is likely you will get another communication from me announcing the removal of restrictions pertaining to COVID protocols,” he explained. “The most significant of which will be the discontinuing of contact tracing and the end of students being forced to quarantine if they are not sick.”
“There’s still some details to be worked out between now and then, all of which will be communicated to you,” Volpe added. “However, this is one step closer to a return to normal for students.”
To view the proposed 2022-’23 budget workshop presentation, visit https://www.mtps.com/board_of_education/budget_information.