Dear HTS Community:
As was mentioned earlier this fall in a blog post, the 2014-2015 HTS budget is in the process of being completed. Over the next two months, we will finalize the development of an efficient budget that funds all programs and services and fosters educational excellence. Our administrative team reviews appropriations weekly and uses this review process to assist in the development of next year’s budget. Expenditures are reviewed line by line and zero-based accounting techniques are utilized. Though our annual costs (health care, salaries, etc.) rise every year, our state aid has been reduced drastically compared to the 2009-2010 school year. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fully takes effect on January 1, 2015. For our district, the ACA has huge financial implications and these ramifications will be fully realized in the 2014-2015 budget. Additional annual expenditures are connected to unfunded mandates from the New Jersey Department of Education. These mandates include, but are not limited to, writing new curricula, purchasing new computer hardware and software to prepare for new state assessments, training costs associated with new teacher and principal evaluations, and ongoing Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) training. Please see the Preliminary Budget Report II Powerpoint that was presented at the January 20th Board of Education meeting for more a more detailed analysis. It can be found in the left hand column of our homepage.
Lastly, the Board of Education applied for and accepted a ROD (Regular Operating District) Grant from the New Jersey Department of Education for a capital project that involves replacing the windows and unit-ventilators in the elementary school. These new windows and unit-ventilators are more energy efficient than the 1969-installed originals. By accepting this ROD Grant, Harding taxpayers will save money and only be responsible for 60% of the total cost of this endeavor. It will “go out to bid” later this winter.