Cinnaminson 'Pleasantly Surprised' by State Aid Boost
However, the good news was somewhat tempered by the federal spending cuts that began to take effect Friday, Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi said.
Cinnaminson School District's state aid for the 2013-14 school year is a more than $200,000 increase from 2012-13. But it's not quite as generous as it seems, according to Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi.
According to numbers released by the Governor's Office, Cinnaminson will get $8,949,300 next year, a $223,761 increase from this year. However, that number doesn't show the reduction in the state's debt service contribution, Illuzzi pointed out, which drops the increase to $161,124—which still isn't bad.
"Even at $161,000, we're still pleasantly surprised," he said. "We were building the budget anticipating a zero increase (in state aid)."
The budget goes before the board of education for initial approval at a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 5), in room 120 at the middle school. From there, it goes on to the county superintendent for approval, before coming back to the district for final adoption on March 26.
Illuzzi declined to reveal any details of the budget—including whether it contained a tax increase—since the full board hasn't had a chance to review it yet.
He did note however that the district took precautions as a result of the sequestration cuts, which went into effect Friday.
Each year, the state reimburses the district a percentage of the cost of special education. The amount, which fluctuates, is based on a percentage of the difference between the district's cost for regular education versus special education. The district estimates the number and plugs it into a line item on the budget labeled "excess cost."
However, because the sequester could effect part of the district's aid for special education—$17 million (for all of New Jersey) is at stake, according to the White House—Illuzzi said Cinnaminson took that money out of the budget in case it never comes.
Should the sequester end sooner than later, and the district receives the additional aid—it's typically disbursed in July or August—Illuzzi said it can be plugged back into the budget and used for tax relief or other programs.