DATE: July 19, 2018
TO: The Hazlet Community
FROM: Dr. Scott Ridley, Superintendent of Schools
RE: Governor Murphy’s Budget
Hello Hazlet. I hope everyone is enjoying both the summer days and some family time. I write today on a serious issue that will impact our District moving forward.
When Governor Murphy presented his budget this month, there was a sizeable (and unexpected) downsizing of aid to many school districts across the State, Hazlet being one of them. Originally, in March 2018, we were informed that we would receive an extra $181,550 for the 2018-19 fiscal year, beginning July 1. When the revised State aid figure was released last week, not only was that amount revoked (after we had worked it into our expenses), an additional $177,574 was also removed, leaving us with a total reduction of $359,124. This is a hard (again, unexpected) number that must be addressed. The State has directed all districts to provide an overview by August 7 of how each District will “absorb” the cuts. This timeline is tight and our task, significant
There is no available “formula” that provides for a reduction of this amount. It requires a precise inspection of all expenses and a balanced consideration of every option in order to tighten our financial belt and continue our commitment to students. Our goal is to not eliminate already-employed teachers though all possibilities are being considered. Discussions are taking place at the Central Office and Board of Education level and by the State’s identified date of August 7, a plan will have been prepared to address this unexpected realignment of available monies.
Your administration neither supports nor agrees with these cuts though we are legally bound to honor them. Our prioritization of student success will not waiver though we have some difficult choices ahead and we thank you in advance for understanding the challenges involved.
Scott Ridley, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
” Margaret Mead