School Funding Update

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August 1, 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians and District Stakeholders:

The Delran Township Board of Education has received official notice from the New Jersey Department of Education that $867,558 in additional aid for use during the 2017-2018 school year has been allocated to the District.  To be clear, this is useful to the District, however it falls short of what the school funding formula indicates the District should receive in order to be “fully funded.”

I write to outline recent actions taken by the Delran Township Board of Education as we prepare for future use.  At the July 31, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education, additional funding was presented as were options regarding its future use:

  • Tax Levy Reduction of $867,558
    • In this model, if the tax levy was reduced by $867,558 there would be a savings of $65 for the average assessed home in Delran.  This model offers an initial giveback to the taxpayers, only to potentially adopt a 2018-2019 budget with a tax increase.
  • Tax Levy Reduction of $437,558
    • In this model, if the tax levy was reduced by $437,558 (with $430,000 of the funding being appropriated in our 2017-2018 budget lines) a current year savings of $32 for the average assessed home in Delran would be realized for the taxpayer, only to potentially adopt a 2018-2019 budget with a tax increase.
  • Full Appropriation of $867,558 in 2017-2018 Budget
    • In this model, the allocation of $867,558 applied in the 2017-2018 budget would potentially allow us to reduce the 2018-2019 budget due to increases in salaries, health benefits and operations.
  • Approval
    • During the July 31, 2017 meeting of the Board a resolution was approved to fully appropriate $867,558 in the 2017-2018 budget as a mechanism to better prepare taxpayers in Delran Township as we engage in the process of drafting the 2018-2019 budget.

After consultation with our auditing firm, Inverso and Stewart, $867,558 was placed into operations, maintenance and special education account lines for the current budget year.

In essence, the Board approved a resolution that judiciously improves the 2018-2019 budget outlook and overall impact to the taxpayers rather than offering a smaller reduction of the tax levy now.

Looking Ahead

As we plan for the 2018-2019 budget the District is obligated to $648,000 in negotiated salary increases, $189,000 in operational increases and $100,000 in health care cost projections.  Understanding these variables as we plan for the future has guided our decision making process.

Without the community support behind the District with local and state legislators this initial funding would not have been realized.  Certainly, engaging with legislators has been a difficult, and long, process.  We will continue to advocate for all of the taxpayers and children of Delran Township as we move forward and keep the school community informed.

Should you have any questions about the 2017-2018 budget or our fight for fair school funding, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Sincerely,

BBB Signature

Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Summer Personnel Announcement – New Administrators at DMS and Student Services

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This evening the Board of Education approved Mr. Mike McHale to serve as an Assistant Principal and Delran Middle School and Mrs. Valerie Bowers to serve as the Supervisor of Special Education.  Below are introductions.

Mike McHale Introduction

Mike McHale graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Saint Joseph’s University in 1998.  Upon graduation, he decided to change his career plans and matriculated into Stockton College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, in 2000.  During his time at Stockton, he assisted as a classroom aide in a second and third grade self-contained special education classroom and as a one-to-one aide for an emotionally disturbed boy in a multiple handicapped classroom.

He finalized his teacher preparation program after student teaching in a fourth grade regular education classroom, in the fall of 2000.  Beginning in the spring of 2001, Mike taught in a fourth grade, self-contained special education classroom and as a pull-out resource and in-class resource teacher during the 2001-2002 school year.

Mike was hired as a mathematics teacher in the Delran Middle school during the summer of 2002 by James Duda.  During his time in Delran, he has taught seventh grade mathematics in on-level and accelerated classes.  For more than a decade, Mike has been the team leader of Team 7A, the Lambda Lions.  The team was led with great success, creating team days, interdisciplinary lessons, field trips, and fundraisers.

Mike also served on several committees, wrote curriculum, analyzed data, launched new district-wide data analysis software, and led the special education department in analyzing student data.  He also proctored general detention, was a sustainability manager, and coached the middle school basketball team.

In 2010 Mike completed a Masters in Educational Leadership degree at Rowan University.

Mike and his wife have two daughters and reside in Haddon Township.

 Valerie Bowers Introduction

Mrs. Bowers is a versatile special education teacher with more than a decade of experience.  She has spent 11 years in the Haddon Township School District teaching reading, writing, and math to special education students.  Mrs. Bowers has served as Head Teacher at Jennings Elementary for seven years, giving her the opportunity to partner with the principal, including handling his role and responsibilities in his absence as he has been assigned multiple roles in the district.    Among the experience gained in this position were HIB Coordination, discipline, community interaction, and chairing meetings.  Mrs. Bower has also served on the Response To Intervention and Intervention & Referral Services Teams for the past eight years, providing direct, hands-on support to fellow teachers in the classroom.

Extremely comfortable in all academic settings, Mrs. Bowers has a passion for extracurricular activities and interaction.  Among her accomplishments include:

  • Coordinating and teaching the Extended School Year Program for the past three summers;
  • Establishing and cultivating a Book Club;
  • Founding and fostering a Fitness Club;
  • Organizing, submitting, and ultimately winning the Philadelphia Phillies’ Phanatic About Reading Program.

Recognizing the importance of advancing technology, Mrs. Bowers volunteered to participate in several technology-based initiatives, including an iPad pilot, PARCC data analysis, implementation of many new special education programs, and a new standards/goals based report card.

Other highlights of Mrs. Bowers’ career include being fully trained in CPR, First Aide, EpiPen, and Rapid Response; being an active member of the Jennings PTA; and serving as a Lunch and Breakfast Supervisor.

Mrs. Bowers’ previously worked for Burlington County Family Service as a Mentor/Behavioral Assistant for teens living in extremely stressful situations.  In this role, she worked closely with DYFS, putting many young people back on the road to successful school careers.  Mrs. Bowers remains active with this organization via Christmas, backpack, and prom dress drives every year.

Mrs. Bowers recently completed the NJEXCEL Program, receiving Supervisory and Principal Certifications.  She also has Teacher of the Handicapped, Elementary, and Reading Certifications, in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and a Master’s Degree in the Science of Teaching and is certified to be a Supervisor and Principal.

Mrs. Bowers and her husband have two children and reside in Haddon Township.

Please join me in welcoming both Mike and Valerie to the District.