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Ewing Board of Education Approves 2020-21 Preliminary Budget

Ewing Board of Education Approves 2020-21 Preliminary Budget 

On March 16th, at the regular Board of Education Meeting held in Fisher Middle School’s media center, Superintendent Michael Nitti and School Business Administrator Dennis Nettleton overviewed the 2020-21 Preliminary School Budget to the Board and public.  After the presentation, the preliminary budget was approved by the Board and will now be sent to the Mercer County Office of the Department of Education for their review and sanctioning. 

The final step in the stipulated process is for the Board to approve the final budget on Monday, April 27th during the required public hearing, which will also be held at Fisher Middle School. 

Their overview, titled “Invested in our Future,” details the district’s path to building its budget and provides an overview of the new spending plan.  It also overviewed the facility projects that were completed as part of the district’s Referendum ’18 Phase 1 work and detailed the Phase 2 projects that are commencing. 

“It has certainly been a challenging year, but it was exciting to see so many projects that have already benefitted the community come online,” Nitti stated. “Our goal for this budget was to strive to maintain our staffing, keep all the programs that our district values and look for innovative ways to address issues that are important to our school community.” 

According to Mr. Nettleton, this was a daunting budget to build this year, as the Ewing Schools has been faced with a sharp increase in three key areas of the budget: Special Education, Transportation, and Employee Health Benefit costs. 

Programs maintained in the preliminary budget include full-day kindergarten, middle and high school athletics, gifted and honors education, K-12 music and art, and after-school activities and programs.  The preliminary budget also supports increase focus and training on students’ emotional and psychological health, an area of emphasis for the Board and administration. 

Again, the school budget is not presented to voters, as the Board does not need to have budget referendums for spending plans that fall within the 2 percent tax cap. 

Superintendent Nitti thanked Mr. Nettleton and the Board of Education for their work on the budget. 

“Each year, the Board and the administration meet in a retreat to prioritize values and evaluate budgetary options,” he stated.  “Each Board member makes vital contributions to this process and Mr. Nettleton is very good at explaining variables and challenges.” 

The preliminary budget reflects an approximate 3.5% increase in the budget and represents the first overall tax increase in two years. Due to steady increases in tax ratables over the last few years, the preliminary tax rate is estimated to be approximately $1.85. This is only a 1.38% increase in the tax rate year over year. With the average assessment for a household in Ewing also going up the impact to the average homeowner in town is an increase of approximately $4.18 per month for the 2020-21 School Year. 

After final approval, the spending plan will go into effect on July 1, 2020. 

All information pertaining to the 2020-21 budget can be found on our website www.ewing.k12.nj.us under the Board of Education tab. 

For more information, please contact:  Theresa Hullings (609) 538-9800x1102 or thullings@ewingboe.org  

Please 'click' to review the PowerPoint: The Ewing Public Schools Preliminary Budget Overview for the 2020-21 Budget.