Monday, July 24 @ 12 noon: Emergency Board Budget Mtg. – Please Attend if you Can!
The recently adopted, N.J. state budget amended Vineland’s already-adopted 2017-18 budget by CUTTING AN ADDITIONAL TWO MILLION DOLLARS! ($2,048,492). PLEASE ATTEND AND IN PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS – ASK THE BOARD NOT TO CUT ANY MORE ACADEMIC PROGRAMS OR STAFFING. The meeting will be held at Board Office at 625 Plum St. Our students have already lost full-time middle school library access and librarians, elementary and middle school computer education, and the reduction in the classes that they can take in high school. The educational program has to be prioritized over other items like artificial turf (cost: over $1 million) or elevator(s) for Landis as an administrative building. Our students’ educational opportunities cannot be reduced with further program or staff cuts.
Who’s to blame? Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Sweeney insisted that the state’s budget would not be passed without a change to the school funding formula. In an act of compromise to pass the required budget, the Legislature approved it. The plan shifted aid mostly from impoverished, urban districts to suburban growth districts. Rather than raise the necessary revenue to fund the S.F.R.A., it’s a classic case of ‘robbing Peter (us) to pay Paul (suburban districts).
What can the Vineland Board do? The State Dept. of Education will allow districts with funding cuts to: 1) makeup the loss of funds by utilizing their surplus (probably not enough in it), 2) cutting items from their already-adopted budgets, (programs and staffing vulnerable) or 3) some combination of the two. PLEASE HELP MAKE SURE THE ITEMS CUT DO NOT IMPACT THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.
Louis Russo, President