The Board of Education is going after what could be millions of dollars from the state to finance currently unfunded mandates.
The Board of Education made a motion at a meeting last week to file a complaint with the state regarding its failure to provide additional funding to implement several required programs and services, including the new teacher evaluation system and PARCC assessments.
The board also made a motion to submit to the state an exact amount it wants to properly fund these initiatives.
“We’re at our wits end at this point,” said trustee Laura Stinziano, who made the motion to file the complaint. “We need money for these mandates.”
Trustee Don Pavlak Jr. seconded Stinziano’s motion.
“The state is quick to come up with all of these mandates, but they won’t give us the funded needed to put them in place,” said Pavlak. “We’ve had to do everything under a hard 2 percent [budget] cap.”
As part of Governor Christie’s property tax reform approved in 2010, residents’ property taxes, with some exceptions, cannot increase more than 2 percent year over year.
Officials did not have an exact list of the required mandates or how much they would cost.
PARCC assessments are state-mandated, computer-based, language-arts tests students in grades kindergarten through 12 are required to take beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Wayne will have to purchase 600 computers in order to administer the tests.
Trustees were quick to point out that state aid to the district was the same this year as it was last year.
The district received slightly less than $3.8 million in aid this year and in 2012. The district received more than $2.8 million in aid in 2011 and only $295,000 in 2010.
Stinziano and Pavlak are up for re-election to the board in 2014.