The administrators reviewed the proposed 2011-12 budget for Ridgewood Public Schools at our Board of Ed meeting last Monday, and what a different experience that was, compared to this time last year. You can click here to download the budget spreadsheet, but the bottom line is this: With no cuts to staff or programs, the proposed budget features the lowest tax increase in at least 17 years, and is likely the lowest increase since 1986 (when the Glen School was closed).*
According to the budget presented, the tax levy would increase 2%, the maximum allowed by law. This translates into $23.94 per $100,000 assessed value, or $191 for the average assessed Ridgewood home.**
This time last year, we were struggling to make cuts totaling $6 million (following a prior year of cuts). We did it. It wasn’t easy. It was painful. And the District is still coping with the fallout. But we’re coping relatively well. Thankfully, a last-minute promise of some funding from the state, combined with austerity budgets from school principals and Ed Center administration, headed off additional cuts this year.
Residents will go to the polls to vote on the budget on April 27. I encourage all voters to review the budget and watch for the official District Newsline which will arrive in mailboxes. You should also keep an eye out for a postcard announcing community open forum sessions, where everyone will be invited to find out where the budget numbers come from and what it all means in terms of programs and the day-to-day classroom experience.
Any questions, you can post here. Or you can email me directly email@example.com. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Fishbein will answer.
*I have tax information going back to 1994 and can confirm that the lowest tax increase over the past 17 years was $206 in 1995. I’m waiting to compile tax data back to 1986. I’ll update this post when I get it.
**According to the Village of Ridgewood, the average assessed Ridgewood home value is $797,422.
Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: email@example.com