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CNBNEWS Exclusive:

Multi-Million Dollar Deficit Forces Gloucester School Board To Cut Personnel and Services

UPDATE April 23, 2015

by William E. Cleary Sr.

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ (CNBNews.net)--Faced with a *$3.5 million budget gap the Gloucester UnknownCity School District announced at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting that certain positions for economic and budgetary reasons will be terminated. Today, the district said in a press release that it has experienced significant underfunding in state aid for the  2015-2016 school year. According to the release, the district is not able to sustain the programs and staffing as it is for the current school year.

The state economic shortfalls resulted in the Gloucester City School District Board of Education abolishing staff and administrator positions to remain within the budget framework for the next school year.

The Gloucester City School District regrets that the following positions are affected:

 A.      One Guidance Counselor position in the Gloucester City High School.

B.      One Social Worker position in the Highland Park School.

C.      One School Nurse position in the Highland Park School.

D.      One Special Education Teacher position in the Highland Park School.

E.       One Secretary position in the Highland Park School.

F.       Three Paraprofessional positions in the Highland Park School.

G.     One part-time Guidance Counselor position in the Highland Park School.

H.      One Social Studies Teacher position in the Highland Park School.

I.        One Language Arts Teacher position in the Highland Park School.

J.        One Science Teacher position in the Highland Park School.

K.      One Art Teacher position in the Highland Park School.

L.       One Art Teacher position in the Gloucester City High School.

M.    One Physical Education Teacher in the Gloucester City High School.

N.     One Secretary position in the Cold Springs School.

O.     One LDTC position in the Cold Springs School.

P.      One Special Education Teacher at the Cold Springs School.

Q.     Three Curricular Coach/Tutor positions.

R.      One Special Education Teacher position at the Mary Ethel Costello School.

S.       One Music Teacher position in the Gloucester City High School.

T.       One Spanish Teacher position in the Gloucester City High School.

U.     Three Weekend Building Assistant positions in the Gloucester City High School.

V.      Two Custodians positions in the Gloucester City High School.

W.    One Administrative position in the Highland Park School.

The abolishment of these positions shall be effective as of June 30, 2015.

The staffing cost reductions will save the district  $2.43 million .

Other savings named by the school district include: 

  • Tuition  (Special Ed Student Placement)                       $150,000

 

  • Technology reductions                                                 500,000                      

 

  • Transportation (courtesy busing not mandated)             206,000

 

  • Curriculum reductions  (various)                                    45,000

 

  • Facilities Reductions                                                      88,000

 

  • Highland Park Closing  (program costs *non salary)         28,000  

 

  • Grant Writer Reduction (various)                                    20,000   

 

Sub total…………………………………………… $3,080,000                                                                                      

  • Budget surplus                                                        200,000
  • Tax increase banked cap                                          250,000

TOTAL…………………………………………..    *$3,530,000

 

The most recent data released  by the State Department of Education reveals the average spending per student in New Jersey school districts was $19,000 in 2013-14, up slightly from the year before.

The same report discloses the cost of educating a student in Gloucester City Public Schools was $23,680 and increase of $500 over the previous fiscal year. In comparison Haddonfield taxpayers paid $14,906 per student, Collingswood  taxpayers paid $19,041 per student, Audubon paid $18,166 per student, Camden City $26,998.

(UPDATE)How much does Pennsylvania spend on public schools? 

A Newsworks report reveals in 2012, Pennsylvania spent $26.5 billion on K-12 education. Only five other states — California, New York, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey— spent more.

 

On a per-student basis, Pennsylvania ranked 13th among the states. In 2012, Pennsylvania spent $13,653 per student compared to a national average of $11,735. Vermont came out on top with $18,882 per student and Utah ranked last with $6,688 per student.

 

Gloucester City school taxes have increased each year for the last five years according to data released by the Gloucester City Tax Office. 

The school tax for the preceding 5 years were:

        

2014   Rate = $1.130 per $100.  Total dollars raised $3,998,954.00. Increase = $  25,608.00        

 

2013   Rate = $1.123 per $100.  Total dollars raised $3,973,346.00. Increase = $  71,817.50

          

2012   Rate = $1.098 per $100.  Total dollars raised $3,901,528.50. Increase = $  38,330.00

          

2011   Rate = $1.083 per $100.  Total dollars raised $3,863,198.50. Increase = $101,892.46 

          

2010   Rate = $1.052 per $100.  Total dollars raised $3,761,306.04. Increase = $261,615.72

 

The 2015 tax rates have not been determined yet. This usually is done by the County  Board of  Taxation in June or July of each year.

Gloucester City’s school budget last year was $47,679,091.

- SEE RELATED ARTICLE 

 

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