Public Budget Hearing Vote Allows Question to Appear on the Ballot for April 16 Vote
[NEWARK, NJ, March 28, 2019] The Newark Board of Education (NBOE) last night unanimously approved the FY 2019-2020 School Budget which totals nearly $1.1 billion. The budget takes into consideration a number of factors; including an increase of $24.8 million in state aid, an increase in the NBOE allocation to Newark charter schools, transportation and the cost of educating Newark children attending school outside of the school district. The budget also reflects a decrease in some spending by the NBOE and a total contribution of fund balance in the amount of $57 million, more than any other district in the state, percentage-wise.
State aid for Newark increased by $24.8 million raising the annual state aid contribution to $812 million. The budget also reflects an increase in payments to charter schools reflecting a cost of nearly $289 million and the cost of educating Newark students in out of district placements in the amount of $44 million.
Additionally, the FY 2019-2020 budget reflects curriculum improvements, school facility improvements and upgrades and initiatives focused on improving the academic and overall school experience for students, according to Newark Schools Superintendent Roger León. He added, “Our charge is to take our students from very good to great and for them to be intelligent and contributing residents of Newark and the world. Our investment in them today, will yield superior students and citizens in the future.”
Board Chairperson, Josephine C. Garcia said, “We are counting on our residents because they play a very important role in shaping the future of our most valuable assets, our students.”
Finally, the NBOE budget also reflects a $2.7 million increase in the tax levy for Newark taxpayers. This increase, according to NBOE Business Administrator Valerie Wilson, remains at the 2% minimum allowable by the state. Ms. Wilson added, “The tax increase reflects an average increase in property taxes of $38 a year on a home valued at $175,000 – which amounts to approximately 10¢ a day. Our goal is not to have a negative impact on the citizens of Newark, yet to have a transformative impact on our students.”
This is the first time in 22 years’ residents of Newark can vote on the Newark Board of Education School budget. The election to vote on the budget, as well as NBOE School board candidates is Tuesday, April 16. The Superintendent added, “We are encouraging all Newark citizens to vote yes on the School Budget, so that we can go forward to build upon the greatness of our district and more importantly, our students.”
To review the FY 2019-2020 Budget, click here.