The Verona Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 29, will be your first chance to hear about the proposed 2011-2012 school budget, which has been posted on the school system’s Web site. The total operating budget now stands at 28,404,947, up from 27,509,424 for the 2010-2011 school year. Of that, the general fund tax levy is $27,158,147, which is exactly 2% higher than last year’s levy.
The total could go down a tad as the replacement for Superintendent Charles Sampson, who is leaving in June for Freehold Regional High School, will presumably come in at less than Sampson’s $165,485 base annual salary. (Sampson’s salary is above the state-mandated maximum for a school district the size of Verona’s.) One other bright spot: Employee benefits costs for school personnel are falling modestly, to $4,412,262 from $4,422,626.
The new budget will boost per-pupil spending on classroom instruction to $7,106 from $6,798 for the current year. That brings classroom spending almost all the way back to its level in the 2009-2010 school year.
There will be another BOE meeting on the budget on April 12. The budget, and this year’s two candidates for the BOE, go before the town for a vote on April 27.