Dear Mr. Smith,
The Tuesday meeting is not for budget deliberations.
I’m sorry that you received an internal document that was presented out of context and without full disclosure.
The NJ DOE asked us to perform a budget exercise calculating the impact under four “what-if” scenarios. At this time we are only
certain that one of the four will impact us. We are in the process of reducing the budget proposal to meet a 4% cap. This is what the
finance committee does every year. That means that the current working document needs a reduction of $2.8 million dollars. The
budget work papers are still under revision by the staff and will be reviewed by the Board later in the month.
Most of the items on that list deal with worst-case what-if scenarios. That was the instruction we received for the exercise. We will
not know until after March 16 what our funding level will be. We truly hope that Trenton will not present us with the need to cut
programs. We all know how important they are.
I deeply regret the needless anxiety that many people experienced receiving this internal work in progress document without
understanding the context of the information it contained.
At this time we don’t expect we will need to cut the kindergarten program. However, the paraprofessional positions will be
eliminated per a State directive; we are not given a choice in that decision.
I hope that next year you will be involved in the budget process at the very early stages by working with the principal at the school
level. The budget process begins there and then the principals move material to central office.
It is a pleasure to have an informed and dedicated professional working to help us close the achievement gap.