Grim News On School Budget

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Charles B. Sampson, Verona’s superintendent of schools, sent out a letter yesterday about the budget, and it is sobering. Because of the state-mandated 2% cap on tax increases, Verona will need to cut $500,000 to $700,000 out of its 2011-2012 budget. Verona had to slash $1.4 million from its 2010-2011 budget because of a sharp reduction in state aid last year. A large number of teacher retirements–nine in all–eased the pain of those cuts, as did a new teacher contract that switched teachers out of an expensive health care plan and committed them to paying 1.5% of their salaries toward their benefits.

Where Verona will be cutting this year will be spelled out at the Board of Education meetings on March 1, 15 and 29. “Although this process is daunting,” Sampson wrote of the new budget in his letter, “we will continue to strive to maintain the excellence of our schools and to maximize our resources to assure that all students continue to receive a first rate public education.”

The BOE budget meetings will all begin at 8 p.m. in the Verona High School library. The budget will also be presented at school SCA meetings in April before it goes to voters on April 27 for approval. You can read the full text of Sampson’s letter here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

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