In their last meeting the board was unable to come to an agreement on whether or not present the budget with “enhancements”, which would mean asking for more money to spend on assistant principals , counselors or possibly both.
The cheaper alternative which some of the board feel the Board of Aldermen will favor more, only includes the mandated items.
The Board of Aldermen made it clear when the announcement was made the Board of Education would be switching over to a zero based budget for 2015-2016 that they need to justify all line items and increases they are requesting.
Board member Dave Gioiello said “to an extent” he believes that no matter what number the board presents for a budget will not be approved, whether it’s an increase or decrease from the previous year, if they do not justify their requests with data.
Chairman of the Board, Mark Holden said “The Mayor won’t pass a budget that causes a tax increase.”
Gioiello responded by saying whether or not they ask for more or less money, they need to provide clear justification.
“I think the mayor would like to give us the same as he did last year,” said Gioiello. “You go through every item and you justify why it’s that cost. Whether it’s fuel/oil and we burn 4,000 gallons and the cost is this and that’s what we average for the past five years and expect to do in the next year.”
Gioiello said the board of education all have their eyes set on providing the education to students that will put them on the best path to succeed. Whether that means a drastic budget increase or not is still unclear.
Superintendent Chris Clouet said his goal is to present a final budget under a 3% increase from last year.
Tonight’s Board of Education finance meeting is at 5 p.m in Long Hill School. The full board meeting will follow shortly after at 7 p.m.
More updates on this story to come.