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School Budget Approved Before Audience Of One

Program and staff cuts could be restored, River Dell looks to hire eight teachers.

For the past few years, River Dell budget hearings were held in the high school cafeteria to accomodate the overwhelming number of residents and students in attendance. Last night, the Board approved its budget before its smallest crowd to date - one single resident.

Because the district chose to on the budget, the Board of Education won't have to worry about whether the $30 million budget could be defeated or not. Instead with a $26 million tax levy and $632,193 in , River Dell will be looking to hire .

According to Superintendent Patrick Fletcher, the district will focus on restoring some of the programming and staffing cuts from three years ago.

"The overall goal is to redce class sizes, create greater opportunities in the core classes and electives, which could result in better test scores," Fletcher said previously. "We could create additional sections leading from one level to another."

The exact teaching positions will not be finalized until after students complete registration for their September 2012 class schedules, but Fletcher has recommended that there is a possibility to bring in an additional physical education teacher to someone for special education, mathematics or a professional development coordinator.

Board members Dorothea Durand and Michael Chakansky voted against the budget for two different reasons.

"I have a real concern with this budget," Durand said. "These positions should be kept flexible and define what it is we want. If we don't want a teacher for professional development or physical education because there is not the need why not make those adjustments now."

Chakansky stated that he was against the budget including the $100 fee paid by parents to cover the high school students laptops in case of damage.

For an Oradell resident with the average assessed home of $531,810, there is a projected increase of $41. River Edge residents with the average assessed home of $436,000 will see an increase of $33 annually.

A copy of the Budget Hearing will be broadcast on RDTV Channell 77 for Cablevision customers, Channel 28 for Fio customers and on the RDTV Youtube Channel.

Gene Hammerle March 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM
How much effort did the Board make informing the public about the time and place for this meeting???
Eamon Harbord (Editor) March 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Gene, The meeting date and time was advertised on the district's website. It was printed in a Town News article, http://ow.ly/9U8AC, and I posted it as well on Monday's Week Ahead article and the initial budget introduction article.
ROOOOOOOOOOOOOO March 27, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Good. The cheap residents would turn it down.
BOOHOO March 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM
THAT BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER. WE VOTE DOWN THE BUDGET AND THEY PASS IT ANYWAY
UNNAMED March 27, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Eamon had it.
UNNAMED March 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
They do what is in the best interest in the town. They do not act only for themselves and the people in this town who do not care about kids.
GGT March 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Unnamed: How do you know why they do it? Best interests of the town, blah, blah, blah. If it were in the best interest of the town we would not have gone from one of the lowest property taxes in Bergen to one of the highest. And stop with the not caring about the kids nonsense. Nice legacy we left for the kids that might want to live in this town some day
Dr.Doom March 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
yes best interest of the town is to keep raising the salaries/admin cost and cut classes and services. Makes perfect sense to me how its in the best interest of the town and the kids.
GGT March 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
What is the point of going now, as long as they stay within the cap, the budget is automatically approved. Christie took away our right to vote no, so what is the point?

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