BoE President Rose Markle details public budget workshop

Dear Editor:

It’s budget time again for the Hoboken Board of Education. I am writing to provide some details of the 2011-2012 school budget and invite the community to the Budget Workshop on March 29.

The school budget is most certainly a financial document but it also is a detailed plan, signifying a true commitment to support the educational goals and positive vision for the district as determined by the board members, the administration and the community. This budget reflects the board’s desire to cut costs, spend efficiently and provide the students and staff what they need for maximum success.

The proposed budget includes a proposed tax levy, $36,758,685 (money requested by the BoE from municipal taxes), which has been lowered again for a second year in a row. The proposed tax levy is now at the lowest possible tax levy allowable for Hoboken under NJ state law.

The state has a minimum allowable tax levy? Yes. The state sets budget minimum and maximum amounts. No proposed budget can go over the two percent cap and no proposed budget can go under the state minimum set for each individual district (not even by one penny). Of course, most people have never heard of this minimum right? Whoever asks for less? Most districts request the maximum. With back-to-back decreases, the Hoboken BoE has hit that minimum amount.

Does that mean the board cannot look for additional savings? No. It means that any savings and efficiencies go towards replenishing the surplus depleted during last year’s state aid cuts and to support the educational goals of the district.

Due to careful planning and efficient spending, the district is now in a position to accomplish many goals earlier rather than later! For example, replace text books (some over 12 yrs old), provide new science kits for all elementary science teachers and students, continue to grow the successful laptop program and hire a new computer teacher to work specifically with the middle grades students and teachers, create new gifted and talented programs to supplement existing programs, allow for field trips for all students and proceed with a district-wide facilities master plan.

The Hoboken Board of Education will hold a Budget Workshop on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to everyone in the community. There will be a presentation and opportunities for the community to comment. I hope to see you there.

Rose Marie Markle

BOE President

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