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: lauriegood@mac.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Budget and ballot question approved by BOE.

At tonight's Board of Ed meeting, we approved the 2011-12 budget and ballot question for the upcoming vote by residents. The budget spreadsheet and powerpoint with notes & explanatory information will be on the District website shortly.

Following are the comments I made (or intended to make*) after the budget was reviewed:

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, we were struggling to make millions of dollars in cuts (following a prior year of even more cuts). 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 good planning and efficiencies from school principals and Ed Center administration, headed off additional cuts for 2011-12.

I agree with Charlie – this is a bare minimum budget…

As a parent, I appreciate this budget that keeps our educational programs and staff intact – and includes a minimum amount for capital projects.

As a taxpayer, I thank the administrators for this budget that contains the smallest tax increase in decades.

And as a Board member, taxpayer and parent, I encourage anyone with questions as to what this budget means for their schools and classrooms, to speak to us tonight during public comment, email your questions to budget12@ridgewood.k12.nj.us, or please attend one of the three informational sessions that are scheduled. Everyone is invited to attend – not just parents – and the first one is this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at GW Middle School.

Don’t just vote blindly on the budget…Get the information, the real information, from Dr. Fishbein, from the Board, or from your school’s principal.

It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but we can make a pretty good educated guess. Budgeting is going to get more difficult, not less. And the pressures to find creative ways to deliver education excellence will increase, not decrease. I believe this budget puts the District in a good position to face whatever comes at us next year and beyond.

I support this budget for 2011-12, and I hope Ridgewood residents will vote “yes” to approve it on April 27.

(*These are the notes I intended to read, but I think I paraphrased a bit during the meeting.)


Anonymous said...

I am sure there was more that could be cut. Just look to Cottage Place which is still bloated.

I'm betting we could cut another $3 million or so and not have it make one heck of a difference in the quality of Ridgewood education.

Next on the agenda is to pare back the benefits we pay to the teachers. That ought to save a few million here and there.

And when that is done, start looking for more ways to increase efficiencies and cut waste.

Anonymous said...

If you think Cottage Place is bloated, you haven't obviously been inside there for a while. It's practically a ghost town. I've seen first hand how there is barely any administrative staff left to run this large district.

Cut 3 million! From where EXACTLY??? If you care to be real, then list the positions and the $$ and how the work of those cut positions would get done. We're all ears!