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Board Proposes 4.5% School Tax Increase

Average homeowner would pay $251 more if budget is approved.

The discussed adopting a $138.6 million preliminary budget at a special meeting Monday night, including a $129.7 million tax levy that would raise taxes by about $250.

As the budget is currently constituted, the average household would pay a 4.5 percent increase from last year.

The budget is still a work in progress. The Board will adopt the preliminary budget on Thursday, March 1. After that time, the district’s finance committee will meet and two public input sessions will be held to finalize details in order to reduce the budget below the state-mandated 2 percent increase cap. The final budget will be adopted at a special public budget hearing March 29.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez spoke about the district’s proposed goals for the 2012-2013 school year that district officials will use a guide to help them formulate a budget.

  • Improve student performance for all students through an intense focus on enhancing the teaching and instructional experience throughout the district.
  • Improve communications among all members of the district, including parents, in order to share important information about the district in a way that is timely, meaningful, and responsive to the needs of the community.
  • Effectively and efficiently use district resources to provide safe, healthy, and supportive environments that support educational initiatives and provide accountability for outcomes.
  • Increase the use of technology for the purpose of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of achieving all other district goals.

Gonzalez discussed nearly $838,000 in proposed improvements, including elevating the guidance counselors at the elementary schools to full-time employees at a cost of $252,000, $34,000 for the fifth-grade social studies curriculum, and $25,000 for a new presentation system in the Wayne Hills High School auditorium.

More than $1.5 million in reductions, including $682,000 in anticipate breakage from staff retirements, and four paraprofessionals at a cost of $90,000, was mentioned. Breakage is the amount saved when veteran teachers retire from a district and new ones, who are paid less in salary, are hired to replace them.

The district is expected to receive $3.8 million in state aid for the upcoming school year, a 32 percent increase from last year’s amount of nearly $2.9 million.

The two public hearings on the budget will take place in March: one will be March 6 at , the second will be March 20 at ; both meetings start at 7 p.m. Officials will take questions from the public at those meetings.

milesrun March 01, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I am not against teachers or the BOE but I would like an explaination on why there was such a large inconsistency between the elementary schools Assessment Test. Out of all 9 schools with 27 grades ( 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders testing) one class scored in the 90's, for Language, and 1 class scored a 49.1 and 2 others scored in the 50's. We had 8 classes score in the 60's. 10 classes scored in the 70's and only 4 scored in the 80's. Our Math was better- 13 classes in the 80's, 11 in 90's & 3 in the 70's & our 4th graders all scored in the 90's for science. I know there is more to education than these test but the inconsistency is whats concerning? If we on average pay more in taxes then Bergen County's average tax. And Bergen County has the highest taxes! Where is the money going? How much $$$ is spent per child? Our rating has decreased & we should be looking at what changed? Get parents & educators to work together. In my profession- if these were my scores- answers & explanations would be expected & action would be taken. If more funds are needed ok, but throwing good money after bad has been proven not to work! Are routine BOE meetings open to parents? And in my opinion-1/2 day kindergarden is a waste- esp when comparing to other districts. We should be comparing our system to Oakland, Wyckoff, or Glen Rock even Franklin Lakes for the amount of $$$ that is put in our education system. Parents its up to us to demand more, & get more involved.
Pad March 02, 2012 at 01:38 AM
This budget is outrageous. The new Superintendant has already brought in a friend and paying her a six figure salary and she is also from that losing school district of Paterson. The Wayne BOE is causing people to move from Wayne and they don't know how to stop spending. The are few avarage homes in Wayne so most taxpayers will pay alot more then the figure they throw out. They need to make some cuts. Wayne is top heavy with six figure saleries especially in administration. Right now there is over 300 homes in foreclosure in Wayne and enrollment is dropping. The BOE has to tighten its belt like everyone else. Why do you think they jumped on the November BOE vote so fast? Because it took your right to vote on the school budget away. This budget would have never passed if put before the taxpayers. Very Democratic of them to do this. The Wayne BOE makes the Robber Barons of the past look like petty thieves. Vote them out!
Justice March 02, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Board of Ed. elections will remain in April for West Milford THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012 LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2012, 1:26 AM BY ANN GENADER CORRESPONDENT
Justice March 02, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Who hired this new super anyhow? I wonder how long he will last? How many has Wayne had in the last 5 years?
Cathy Kazan March 02, 2012 at 03:38 PM
You hit that nail on the head milesrun. Apathy is part of the problem. I know parents are busy, but there needs to be more involvement. These BOE meetings are empty. I was there last night, with only three members of the public. The rest was press and faculty. I have yet to see a meeting filmed at 50 Nellis televised. Who knows when it's on 77? I sure don't. They don't allow the public to sit in and listen during their "committee" meetings. That's where all the real discussion happens, out of the public view. We deserve accountability for these test scores. Every year it's more money with less results. Not acceptable. Obviously, money is not solving the problem.

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