Friday, 07 May 2010 00:00
The severe budget conditions that we are currently experiencing have produced an unprecedented financial crisis in education. Each time we pick up a newspaper or tune into the news we are reminded that we are in the midst of the most significant financial/economic downturn since the Great Depression. No doubt, many of us know someone who has been dramatically affected by this downturn. Armed with this knowledge and the reality of declining funds from the state, we took on the challenge of preparing the 2010-2011 budget.
Step by step, line by painstaking line, the Board of Education and the administration reviewed the budget presented in late February. In a series of six public meetings we have worked to present a financial plan that was mindful of the harsh economic times yet preserved the quality educational programs our community has come to value.
I would like to express effusive appreciation for all those members of the community who came to the budget workshops and provided input throughout the process. In particular, I applaud the members of the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC), Alan Goldstein, Barbara Guglielmo, Michael Kaye, Larry Posner, Joel Harris, and Adam Sherman, for their insight and guidance. They used their financial acumen to keep the administration grounded in the economic realities of our times. Their sound suggestions assisted the board in trimming certain budgeted areas, resulting in a 2.43 percent budget to budget increase. This budget represents the second year in a row that the district has controlled the budget to keep it in line with other historically low percentage increases.
Copies of the budget are available in the main offices of each building, at local libraries and posted on the district’s website. The community will have an opportunity to vote on this budget on May 18 at the Wheatley School gymnasium between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Our schools continue to be places of engaged learning because of your continued high expectations and support. I look forward to seeing your reactions to the wonderful performances at our various concerts and recognition events that mark the end of a great school year. All activities are posted on the website www.ewsdonline.org.