For the past few years, River Dell budget hearings were held in the high school cafeteria to accomodate the overwhelming number of residents and students in attendance. Last night, the Board approved its budget before its smallest crowd to date - one single resident.
Because the district chose to on the budget, the Board of Education won't have to worry about whether the $30 million budget could be defeated or not. Instead with a $26 million tax levy and $632,193 in , River Dell will be looking to hire .
According to Superintendent Patrick Fletcher, the district will focus on restoring some of the programming and staffing cuts from three years ago.
"The overall goal is to redce class sizes, create greater opportunities in the core classes and electives, which could result in better test scores," Fletcher said previously. "We could create additional sections leading from one level to another."
The exact teaching positions will not be finalized until after students complete registration for their September 2012 class schedules, but Fletcher has recommended that there is a possibility to bring in an additional physical education teacher to someone for special education, mathematics or a professional development coordinator.
Board members Dorothea Durand and Michael Chakansky voted against the budget for two different reasons.
"I have a real concern with this budget," Durand said. "These positions should be kept flexible and define what it is we want. If we don't want a teacher for professional development or physical education because there is not the need why not make those adjustments now."
Chakansky stated that he was against the budget including the $100 fee paid by parents to cover the high school students laptops in case of damage.
For an Oradell resident with the average assessed home of $531,810, there is a projected increase of $41. River Edge residents with the average assessed home of $436,000 will see an increase of $33 annually.
A copy of the Budget Hearing will be broadcast on RDTV Channell 77 for Cablevision customers, Channel 28 for Fio customers and on the RDTV Youtube Channel.