Marlboro residents to vote on $64m budget

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 5/10/23

Last week the Marlboro School District held a public hearing on their proposed $63,973,392 budget for the 2023-24 school year.

The budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 from 6am to 9pm in …

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Marlboro residents to vote on $64m budget


Last week the Marlboro School District held a public hearing on their proposed $63,973,392 budget for the 2023-24 school year.

The budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 from 6am to 9pm in the courtroom at the Milton Administration Building, 21 Milton Tunpike, Milton.

The district will realize $28,216,411 in revenues for next year, a tax levy of $33,116,599 and will allocate $2,640,382 from the Fund Balance. It was noted there is no increase in the tax levy or in the amount tapped of the Fund Balance from the current school year.

At the public hearing the district highlighted the increases for next year: salaries are up by $1,539,109; the Debt Service by $651,740; Transportation by $254,855; Benefits by $366,018; Employee Retirement System at $30,261 and the Teacher Retirement System at $97,516 for a total of $2,939,498.

The 2023-24 budget includes funding for an additional School Psychologist; two Academic Intervention Services; the SOAR Program in the Middle School; the Foundations and Business Education programs at the High School; a custodian; a K-8 Literacy Coach; an elementary school Special Education Teacher; moving a .6 ENL position to full time; increasing a 10 month clerical position to 12 months and another part-time clerical position to a full time 10 month position; a Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health position and providing free breakfast and lunch for all students.

Superintendent Michael Rydell commented on the budget process.

“We are really excited about the collaboration that’s taken place between our faculty, staff, the administration and ultimately the Board of Education to get this budget to where it is today,” he said. “The budget that’s adopted comes at a zero percent tax levy freeze, [with] no increase to the amount of fund balance being allocated to help balance that budget. When you couple that with the Foundation Aid increase, we are able to continue to expand some really needed programs and wanted programs in our district.”

Rydell estimated that the state Foundation Aid went up by, “about $5 million. We were underfunded and now this brings us up to 100%.”

Rydell said when Governor’s budget was released several months ago, Marlboro initially was slated to receive $543,000 for high impact tutoring.

“We didn’t think that was a guarantee but thought it was a possibility, so we kept that out and had other plans for that money separate and distinct from the skeleton of our budget. But it fell off in the latest negotiations so that money is no longer available for high impact tutoring, or going into our Foundation Aid; it just came out of the equation.”

Rydell described how these kinds of funds are to be used.

“The criteria is that it would be used for grades 3 through 8 to provide supplemental services and instruction to students to help address some of the learning gaps in reading, writing and math,” he said. “It would also increase the district’s intervention services and before and after school programs.”

Rydell said the Administration and the School Board worked to ensure transparency throughout the budget process so the public would understand, “that the main overall integrity package of this budget remained, regardless of what direction the funding ultimately came in at when it came to that $543,000.”

Rydell was critical of the state’s delay of a month in approving their budget and their lack of communication on the actual final numbers during the process but is hoping there might be some funding for these types of services in the future.

Rydell also reported that universal Pre-K for 89 kids will be funded for the 2023-24 school year.

“We were fortunate that everyone that applied was able to get a spot, but maybe not their first choice of location of the three providers,” he said.

Rydell closed by saying the district, “is appreciative of the support of our school district community and we look forward to a large voter turnout on May 16.”


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