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Ridgewood Board of Education Begins Facing a “New Normal” in State Aid

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at the Ridgewood Board of Education meeting on Wednesday evening Ms. Brogan shared information on the financial outlook for the state, as outlined in a report by the state treasurer, which is available online. Additionally, Ms. Brogan and Dr. Fishbein attended a Garden State Coalition of Schools meeting earlier in the day, where they heard from some legislators. The state is struggling financially with their response to COVID-19, and there is a huge unknown for the financial outlook of the state and how schools will be impacted. The recommendations outlined in the report appeared to indicate that there will be a cut of new state aid for the district. The current recommendation is to flat fund the 2020-2021 school year at the amount of the 2019-2020 school year. This impacts the $654,000 of new state aid that we anticipated, and it is likely that there will be additional state aid cuts. On top of cuts, there will be a delay in state aid payments to the district from September to October, as well as a delay in extraordinary aid payments, which the district budgeted at $1.5 million. Extraordinary aid is reimbursement for high special education costs based on an application that the district completes in the spring. Typically, extraordinary aid is granted by the state in July, but this year, it is being postponed until September, which will be the next budget year. These are significant unknowns and concerns because we rely on our state aid.

Dr. Fishbein added that the treasurer made it very clear in her report that the new aid is off the table. Extraordinary aid is currently delayed so any projections we made about funds through the end of the year are in jeopardy, and we won’t have this information until September, which impacts auditing. Our two June payments of state aid have been delayed into July. More state aid is at risk beyond the $654,000 that we know we will not be receiving.

3 thoughts on “Ridgewood Board of Education Begins Facing a “New Normal” in State Aid

  1. Whoops, take out that $654,000 of state aid and suddenly the proposed BOE tax increase is well above 2%!!!

  2. Its all OK….
    .
    We’re RICH and STUPID
    .

  3. This is exactly why a school budget with a 2% increase was lunacy.
    Time to get out the knife. Start cutting.

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