Late buses for middle school and high school students will also be restored, but on a less frequent schedule from the current four days per week. Swartz said she believes she can find savings in the transportation budget around $20,000 to help with the restoration.
The additional state aid will also help offset last year's one-time revenue source from the Education and Jobs bill totaling $810,000. Out of the $400,000 funding boost, the board was willing to take $100,000 for the newly restored items and to help defer costs. The positions eliminated in the budget include two administrator positions, which will replace the two leaving principals; one teacher position and one float nurse position.
"Next year could be a huge challenge, not just for us, but certainly more of a struggle than we faced this year," said Swartz. "For the last two years, the state has taken money back mid-year. As much as I want to believe the money is there and solid, history has taught me that's not a good strategy. The board and I believe we have to budget conservatively. We really are trying to position ourselves well for the next year."
Reorganization of the administrative staff is still being fine-tuned, and by the end of the week, Swartz said there probably will be something on the district's website about the changes. Those position changes will be in effect for only the upcoming year.
"I think everyone has been surprisingly accepting of the financial realities that we are in, and I think if you look at the budget that we adopted for hopeful approval, we have reduced spending," said BOE Vice President John Yagielski. "I hope people who would have supported a higher amount also recognize that we heard from our neighbors about what they can and can't support as well, so we tried to take that into consideration."