Politics is local and we can have the most impact on our school boards

Your superintendent is the highest paid, most powerful public official in the municipality. Do you know his name?

Elected board members, although well intentioned are easily led by their paid employees; teachers & administrators.

Do you know what they're all doing? Well here in New Jersey they represent at least 60% of your property tax bill and budgets grow at an astounding compound rate each year.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Budget season Has Begun: Changes for 2011-2012


As promised by Governor Christie, school districts can no longer apply to the education commissioner for waivers to adjust the local levy by more than the calculated cap; ten loopholes have been eliminated. However, it must be noted that this state-level restriction only shifts cost control responsibility to local voters. 

Passage of local ballot questions to increase tax levy has been changed from a 60% affirmative requirement to a simple majority.  This change combined with restrictive voting hours and strategically scheduled after school activities gives unfair advantage to those favoring  increased spending.  The public must take advantage of “Vote by Mail” to level the playing field..  Get to the municipal building and complete an application today!

A new revenue account 18-4522 has been established to record the $122,545 Education Jobs Fund monies from the federal government.   The funds must be spent  prior to September 2012 and may be used for employee salaries to provide school-level educational and related services.  In a September 20, 2010 memo however, the Department of Education encouraged districts to avoid spending that grows future obligations.  “they should provide your district with the breathing room needed to plan for educationally sound, balanced budgets in the austere days to come. It is unwise to assume that there will be additional streams of federal jobs money…”  Wise advice that will most likely be ignored.

Superintendent Vitta holds budget details close to tis vest but I’ll continue to expose what I can. 


  1. Ted I was impressed with your blog today until you took your parting shot at the end. You can't help yourself can you.
    I was at the meeting they discussed using the money this year knowing that the additional staff they hired now would be gone in the next budget cycle. So they heeded the wise advice on their own without your prodding. Good for them.
    In regard to Vitta holding his cards close to the vest from the meetings I have attended they have reported the new budget is going through the review of the board committee before it is discussed with the full board. Based on the timeline on the state website they will need to discuss it over the next month or so.
    Again, thanks for your budget update it was informative.

  2. All budget discussions must be held in public.

    Vitta made it clear at the board's goal setting session that he would not allow budget presentations until he had made final decisions.