Home • Gloucester County News School board approves balanced budget for 2024-’25

School board approves balanced budget for 2024-’25

Joseph Metz/The Sun
Mantua board of education Secretary Michelle Jankauskas presented the financial plan at a May 6 meeting.

The Mantua board of education voted unanimously to approve a district budget of nearly $26 million for the 2024-’25 school year during its meeting on May 6.

The financial plan’s actual total is $25,940,183, according to a presentation by board Secretary Michelle Jankauskas. She described the budget as balanced, explaining that the district achieved that because of a maintenance reserve, recent preschool education aid and a small reduction of force.

“We have a reserve account,” she noted, “and at the end of the school year, when we have remaining funds, we take a portion of those remaining funds and set them into these separate accounts, and we have a maintenance reserve account and we have a capital reserve account.

“We’ve been putting funds in there (the maintenance reserve account),” Jankauskas added. “This year, we’re going to be using some of those funds from our maintenance reserve.”

The school district recently got preschool expansion aid from the state of $3,480,130, according to the presentation. Those funds will pay for the additional classrooms necessary to accommodate an expected increase in the preschool student population, as well as for more teachers and supplies.

The state aid will help balance what had been a gradual five-year decrease in such funding in Mantua and numerous South Jersey districts. Total state aid for the rest of the district for next year is $3,804,946, a decrease from the 2023-’24 school year’s total of $4,183,468.

“From what we understand, this will be the last year of this formula,” Jankauskas pointed out. “We don’t know what next year’s formula is supposed to be, but at this time, we feel this will be the last of the reductions that we’re gonna see.”

As for the reduction in force, four full-time secretary positions will become part time and there will be one less special education teacher and one less homeroom teacher.

“This will be our third year of reduction of force,” said Superintendent Christine Trampe. “I’m grateful to say that because of the things we just reviewed – specifically with preschool education aid – it’s not as significant as we’ve had in years past. However, we do have a need in reduction of force.”

Trampe then referred to a table that shows the projected average student class size for the 2024-’25 school year will remain largely the same as the current one.

The budget vote took place after a public hearing and the presentation; there were no objections from either board members or the public. The next Mantua board of ed meeting, the last for the current school year, and will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 24, at Centre City Elementary School.

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