July 27, 2018
Dear Parents, Guardians and District Stakeholders:
The Delran Township Board of Education has received official notice from the New Jersey Department of Education that $970,950 in additional aid for use during the 2018-2019 school year has been allocated to the District.
This funding is in addition to an initial increase of $625,884 that was made available to the District in its state aid notification this past March and was included in the final budget adoption in May. In total, the District received an increase of $1,596,834 in which to encumber and utilize.
I write to outline recent actions taken by the Delran Township Board of Education. At the July 23, 2018 meeting of the Board of Education, the additional funding was presented to the Board by the Administration along with options regarding its future use.
The Board of Education was presented with a recommendation to enhance curriculum, operations, classroom supplies, student activities/athletics and personnel. The Board approved the additional funding to be allocated in order to support the following areas:
- Personnel ($170,000): Reading Specialist, Substance Abuse Coordinator
- Student Activities and Athletics ($60,000): DMS Wrestling mats and K-2 playground enhancements
- Classroom Supplies ($21,000): K-8 teacher supplies
- Operations ($667,950): K-12 STEM Lab infrastructure, instructional technology and hardware, security supplies and DHS air conditioning upgrades
- Curriculum ($52,000): Support for professional development, language arts, performance arts instruments and special education programming
During the past school year the Board of Education engaged in multiple examinations regarding its budget and its impact on the taxpayers in its public meetings. As an example, one year ago the District received an additional $867,558 in funding from the State. At the time it was my recommendation to encumber the funding and allow it to “work” for the residents in future budgets.
Due to decisions that were approved by the Board last July, the overall tax impact for the 2018-2019 budget was able to be reduced from $127 for the average assessed home in 2017-2018 to $65 for the average assessed home in 2018-2019. Consequently, the tax growth is half as much as it had been in years past due to the manner in which the Administration and Board applied additional funding. A true feat given the fact that we were able to enhance programs for students and opportunities for the District at the same time.
By voting to continue encumbering the additional funding the Board judiciously improved the 2019-2020 budget outlook and overall impact to the taxpayers rather than offering a smaller reduction of the tax levy now while, at the same time, improving opportunities for the District.
Additionally, Governor Phil Murphy approved a legislative bill that will significantly improve school funding in Delran Township over the long-term. Between now and 2025 Delran Township will benefit from significant additional funding that was advocated so diligently by the residents from Delran over several years. Should you have any questions about the 2018-2019 budget please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.
Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools