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.
- 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.
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.
Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools