HomeMoorestown NewsBoard of ed approves tentative school budget

Board of ed approves tentative school budget

MHS student council kicks off March 19 meeting with special announcement

Moorestown’s board of education approved a tentative budget for the 2024-’25 school year at its March 19 meeting, following a board budget workshop 12 days earlier.

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Before members approved the plan, Business Administrator and Board Secretary James Heiser gave an update on the budget presentation.

“ … Ultimately we are asking for the board’s approval to submit this budget to the county for county review,” he explained. “That county review is a very thorough process that includes the county director of curriculum, the county superintendent, the county business official and their teams. They go through the budget and inquire with any questions to us that they may have.”

2024-2025 budget introduction agenda

  • Need-based goals for budgetary alignment
  • Budgetary challenges
  • Revenues – tax levy, state aid, fund balance, other
  • Appropriations – salaries, benefits, capital outlay, other
  • Budget adjustments since board budget workshop
  • Department highlights
  • Budget introduction
  • Tax impact
  • Debt service

Goals for budgetary alignment are:

  • 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.

“Later on in the budget, you will see how some of our initiatives and some of the highlights tie back to these goals,” Heiser noted. Among the 2024-’25 budgetary challenges are:

Revenue increases

  • Levy increase: $1,402,962.00
  • State aid increase: $835,567.00

“There’s been a lot of discussion about what’s called S2 legislation that is out there,” Heiser said. “Moorestown, as a district, is on the winning side of S2, meaning that over that phasing period, we were seeing additional funds from state aid, which is good, because when you look at the funding formula in accordance with the state’s formula, the state was not funding in accordance with that formula. They were underfunding districts … We are now fully funded in accordance with the state’s formula.”

  • Insurance dividends: $1,150,000.00
  • Total increases: $3,388,529.00

Appropriation increases

  • Health benefits: $1,418,468.00
  • General insurance: $97,760.00
  • Contracted salaries: $2,126,712.00
  • CPI increases: $143,110.00
  • Total increases: $3,786,050.00

Total excess appropriations: $397,521.00

“Before we even consider an additional item within this budget, we’re starting out $400,000 in the hole, just from these items,” Heiser pointed out. “That is a significant challenge to overcome through this process … Ultimately, we got to a space where we are overcoming that without having to have significant cuts and significant losses of programming or staffing.”

Adjustments since budget workshop

  • Staffing: New position requests adjusted/removed from budget, existing staff adjustments (retirements and LOA (leaves of absence)) and minimum wage adjustments: $278,871.48 reduction
  • Department/building budgets: $694,400 reduction
  • Capital outlay and reserve: $804,200 reduction in projects, $344,000 additional revenue from Capital Reserve and Maintenance Reserve.
  • Lease purchase: $727,890 reduction in requests, resulting in a $145,578 reduction in annual payment (5.0% interest rate expected.)
  • Dividend appropriation: Increase from $900,000 to $1,150,000 of additional revenue from SHIF and JIF dividend to cover excess costs associated with insurance renewals.

Department highlights: staffing

Goal connection: multi-tiered system of supports (1) and operational and technology initiatives (2)

  • Dyslexia therapist: Will provide more intensive supports to students with dyslexic profile reading needs at elementary grades.
  • Elementary teacher: New position due to projected enrollment levels
  • High-school teacher: New position to address anticipated course requests in science and address some scheduling constraints.
  • Net impact to the budget: An increase of 1.0 FTE due to finding other efficiencies within scheduling and attrition.

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

“I’m happy to see that, notwithstanding the difficulty this year, given the revenues and expenses in that first slide that you had to identify that the increase revenue was quickly eaten by some of our expenses, that we are continuing to direct funds to growing our supports for our students,” said Board President Mark Villanueva, referring to a slide in his presentation.

Earlier in the meeting, the high-school’s student council offered support to special education teacher Anne Furlong in honor of her son Adam, who passed away at the age of 18 last August.

“This school year, MHS has rallied together to both honor Adam’s memory and express our support for Mrs. Furlong, a teacher who has given so much to our community,” said senior class liaison Bhavika Verma. “ … Through various fundraising initiatives, the MHS community has raised $1,000, and these proceeds will be donated to the Adam J. Furlong Memorial Fund.

“On behalf of the MHS student council, students, staff and administrators, I would like to express that this gesture symbolizes our deep gratitude and unwavering support for Mr. (William) and Mrs. Furlong.”

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