Montclair School Budget
Written by Jeff Ramella on March 6, 2020
By Kyle Pepitone
Over the past month, residents of Montclair have been receiving information concerning the 2020-2021 budget for the school district. The Board of Education has been drafting out the budget for the upcoming school year.
Starting back in October of 2019, the board has met several times. According to their budget presentation, they intend to use the budget to lessen the academic gap between students, as well as continuing to offer high-quality education. The board has also mentioned that they intended to increase the salaries and health benefits of the school district staff. The district has made agreements with three work unions to increase the salaries of their staff members. The district agreed on a 3.5% salary increase with the Montclair Education Association union, a 3% salary increase with the Montclair Head Custodians Association union, and a 2.75% salary increase with the Montclair Principals Association Union.
However, due to all the increases in salaries and health insurance, the Montclair school district is facing a $7.5 million shortfall in the budget, meaning they are spending more money then they have been given. In past years, the board has reduced the budget gap by cutting staff positions and decreasing health insurance. This year, they plan on making cuts to quite a few departments, including a $600,000 decrease inequity, curriculum, and instruction, a $535,000 decrease in transportation, and a $500,000 decrease in technology. The biggest concern within the community is the cut in transportation as it has been requested in the past for the bus service to be expanded. In total, the expenditure adjustments will only make up for about $4 million of the budget shortfall while another $1.3 million is expected to be deducted through anticipated revenue and utilization of the fund balance.