Verona’s Board of Education is holding the first of three special meetings tonight to discuss the cuts that may need to be made to our school budget.
The Board has two challenges. Gov. Chris Christie’s austerity budget for the present year includes a freeze on payments to school districts, a potential loss of about $54,000 to Verona. For fiscal 2011, the budget year that begins July 1, Gov. Christie has warned school districts across the state of a 15% cut in state aid. There may also be changes to the state-mandated spending cap, which now allows for a 4% spending increase. The cap could be dropped to 3%, which Board Finance Committee member Joseph Bellino has said would mean “we are looking at rather drastic cuts.”
Board of Education meetings are held in the library at Verona High School and begin at 7 p.m. The agenda for tonight’s meeting has been posted here. To get to the VHS library, park in the school’s Sampson Drive lot and come in the back door by the music room and gym. Go straight up the hallway to the end, turn right up the stairs, and then almost immediately left. Go past the principal’s office to the first corridor on the left. The entrance to the library will be on the left. For handicapped-accessible entrance, park in front of the school. The hallway that goes to the library will be on your right as you enter the school lobby.
Subsequent budget meetings are scheduled for March 16, when the state’s 2011 budget will be unveiled, and March 30. There is also an open forum with Superintendent Charles Sampson at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School on Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m.