CHATHAM–Tuesday, May 17, school district voters will decide the fate of a $30,542,416 spending plan carrying a 2.14% increase over last year and a tax levy increase of 0.89%. Highlights of the budget include no cuts to educational programs and strengthened opportunities support for students.
Among changes in the 2016-17 budget proposal are:
• Increase of $110,000 for Special Education
• Additional $50,000 for technology hardware
• Increase of $22,000 for the Board of Education to cover costs associated with review of policy manual last performed in 2000 and a the search for a new superintendent
• Increase of $15,000 for costs associated with website and newsletters
• Increase of $20,329 for third, fourth and fifth grade summer school, including transportation
• Increase of $3,600 for water coolers
• Increase in spending of $68,898 for water fountains, drinking water testing and possible remediation
• Decrease of $86,000 in health insurance expenditures.
The Summary of Revenues for the proposed budget includes: an increase over last year in the property tax levy of $187,653; no change in the Appropriated Fund Balance, which remains at $1,341,600; a decrease of $132,671 in reserves.
“This is all good for the kids school board President Melony Spock said recently about the proposal. “Improving our programs was important to us. I believe we were pretty responsive to the community with a less than 1% tax cap.”
Ms. Spock, who is seeking reelection to the board this year as one of five candidates for three open seats, said the board hopes to keep pace with changing technology at the school with the addition of a full-time network engineer and the planned introduction of website upgrades. As a result, students and users of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will be able to more easily access school information and gain a better understanding of the technology.
Polls will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School gymnasium.