image_pdf
Montclair Board of Education Sign. ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

The Montclair Public Schools could be seeing some staff reductions in the 2017-2018 school year.
The board of education presented some more  details of the preliminary budget during a workshop meeting Monday night at the George Inness Annex.
The preliminary budget presentation, which is available for viewing on the district website, outlines some staff additions, including for the world language program, but also anticipates the elimination of several positions, both at the district level and among the schools.
The figures given below are taken from the district’s preliminary budget presentation.
Tax levy and state aid
The budget includes an anticipated tax levy of $112,471,548, an increase of 2.32 percent over last year’s tax levy. This equates to a tax bill increase of $44.59 for every $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. For the average household in Montclair with a home value of $503,448, for example, this would mean a $222.95 tax increase, and a total school tax bill of $9,901.37.
Besides the tax levy, the district is expecting $344,000 in local sources, $7,263,068 from all state sources, including state aid, and $87,794 from federal sources.
Montclair is expected to receive $6,863,068 in state aid, the same amount as last year, according to a data chart released by the state Department of Education last week.
Of the aid money, the largest portion is earmarked for special education: $4,231,151. After that, the aid is to be used for transportation assistance ($1,175,389); security aid ($749,384); adjustment aid ($503,304); and $68,020 each for PARCC aid and student readiness aid.
The state aid question was one issue that the board of education wanted to have settled before it introduced the budget.
Interim Superintendent Ronald Bolandi told the Montclair Local on Monday via email that the aid amount was the same as it had been for the past few years, and as long as the aid was not reduced, the budget could move forward.
Additions and Reductions
Some of the proposed staff reductions include three dean positions at Bradford, Bullock and Northeast; a central office staff member, four district secretaries, an elementary supervisor, and a number of unspecified part-time or full-time positions at the schools. The presentation noted that modified scheduling could affect the numbers of reductions at Glenfield Middle School and Montclair High School; those schools are currently expected to cut five positions each.
For expenses, the budget plans to cut $1,900,000 from spending on health insurance, and $1,000,000 on tuition and out-of-district placements for special education students.
The district hopes to add a world language specialist for a 10-month period for $125,000; a student advocate for $95,000. Other planned additions include $100,000 for special education professional development and $50,000 for world language professional development.
The world language program came up for discussion during a workshop meeting in February, amid concerns about whether the program is providing sufficient instruction for students.
The next budget meeting is expected for Monday, March 13.