HomeMoorestown NewsA 'fluid process'

A ‘fluid process’

Board of ed budget to be introduced at March 19 meeting

The Moorestown Township Board of Education held a budget workshop on March 7.

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“In terms of a timeline, the budget will be introduced to the board at our next public meeting (Tuesday, March 19) and we will be voting on the budget for introduction, and then in April will be the budget hearing,” said board President Mark Villanueva.

“That’ll be an opportunity for the public to comment on the budget, and that will be our second opportunity to vote and finally approve the budget for next year.”

Business Administrator and Board Secretary James Heiser presented the 2024-’25 budget development, which includes goals for budgetary alignment, budget development process and budget highlights.

“The budget is a very fluid process,” Heiser said. “A week-and-a-half seems like it is right here, and it’s right around the corner. And while it is, a lot is going to happen in that short period of time. We’re going to get a lot of finalized numbers in a short period of time and a lot of changes will be made.”

Goals for budgetary alignment

  • Maintain multi-tiered systems of supports to continue to identify and address the needs of students across a range of learning and developmental profiles.
  • Expand upon district security and operational initiatives around infrastructure, personnel, technology and procedural efficiencies that prepare the district for future demands.

“We’ve developed these goals in conjunction with multiple administrative meetings with our administrative teams,” Heiser explained. “When we meet as an administrative team, we discuss what are the greatest needs right now, and we start compiling all those needs, and then start to develop those goals around what those needs look like …

“Even outside of these goals, there are other goals that we are accomplishing within the budget.”

Budget development process

  • Goals created through stakeholder input and district data review.
  • Budget manual created with enrollment projections and per pupil building based budgets developed.
  • School administration developed building level budgets with input from the faculty and content supervisors.
  • Central administration evaluated the needs of the district related to technology, curriculum, personnel and faculties.
  • Revenue and appropriations are updated based on finalized numbers.
  • Tuition updates: out-of-district and received students.
  • Benefit and insurance renewal updates.
  • District personnel updated for retirements, movements, student needs and enrollment driven changes as needed.
  • State aid release.


  • Local tax levy: a 2% increase is $1,402,962.
  • State aid: Initially budgeted flat. Actual equals a $835,567 increase.
  • Budgeted fund balance: Budgeted fund balance is composed of the prior year (2022-’23) audited excess surplus, plus allowable adjustments for any free general fund excess balances projected as of June 30, 2023, a $5,340 decrease.
  • Other revenue sources: Tuition (individuals, preschool, extended kindergarten, other districts) facility rentals, extraordinary aid, pay to participate, parking, shared services, banking interest, dividends, etc., a $417,291 increase.


  • Salaries – Year three of three with MEA (Moorestown Education Association) contract. Year 2 of 3 with MAA (Moorestown Administratives Association) contract.
  • Insurance – Originally projected at a 5% increase.
  • Health insurance – 10.18% confirmed increase.
  • General insurance – 9.30% confirmed increase.
  • Student accident – 1.0% confirmed increase.
  • Instructional supplies and materials – School budgets at per-pupil allocations.
  • Departmental budgets – Curriculum, technology, administration, facilities, transportation.
  • Capital outlay.
  • Minimum wage impact on EDC programming and substitute rates (GOAL 2).

Adjustments made to date

  • Staffing – New position requests adjusted / removed from budget, existing staff adjustments (retirements and LOA (leaves of absences)) and minimum wage adjustments – $864,000.
  • Department/building budgets – $325,352.
  • Capital outlay
  • $8,861,460 reduction in projects.
  • $2,542,236 appropriated from Capital Reserve for Baker HVAC.
  • Lease purchase – $631,780 reduction in requests which resulted in a $126,356 reduction in annual payment (5.0% interest rate expected).
  • Additional state aid – Increase of $835,567 realized.
  • Dividend appropriation – Increase of $900,000 in revenue to appropriate a SHIF and JIF dividend to cover excess costs associated with insurance renewals.

Items to consider to close remaining deficits

  • Department/building budgets – Further reductions in supplies, materials and equipment.
  • Personnel – Further prioritization of staffing requests and review of existing staff allocations for efficiency.
  • Staffing – Reductions to current staffing levels to cover deficit.
  • Capital outlay – Prioritize and fund through reserve accounts.
  • Revenue projections
  • Extraordinary aid.
  • Fund balance is being reviewed to determine if any additional amounts would be recommended for inclusion in budgeted fund balance.
  • Facility fees
  • Items considered in the past – Transportation adjustments, co-curricular and athletic activity adjustments.
  • Banked cap – Generated a $463,665 health benefit adjustment that could be utilized.

“It’s an enormous lift … And it’s impressive how much work goes into it, and I know there’s still a lot more to go,” Villanueva said of the budget plan.

To view the budget presentation in its entirety, visit www.mtps.com or search for the Moorestown board of education meeting on YouTube.


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