April 2020: Annual Budget Letter

Dear Robbinsville Community Members,


Last night, the Robbinsville Board of Education voted to approve the annual budget for the 2020-2021 school year. In spite of the challenges we currently face, the new budget continues to reflect our strong commitment to mindful and deliberate investing so our students can thrive socially, emotionally and academically.  We strive to offer a wide variety of rigorous programs and diverse learning experiences, both in-class and extra-curricular, to convey the essential skills and knowledge necessary to be Robbinsville Ready for life in the real world. Despite being ranked as the lowest per pupil spending district in Mercer County at $16,445, Robbinsville Public Schools consistently competes with the very best districts in the state. This is clearly evidenced by our postgraduate students’ acceptance to and success in top tier colleges and universities as well as those who are successful within a global workforce.

As the state legislature continues to recognize the disparity in funding throughout the state, Robbinsville anticipates an additional $466,372 in state aid from the New Jersey Department of Education in 2020-2021. This contribution will support our commitment to a lean and healthy budget, one that addresses our values and priorities while keeping the tax levy flat. A top priority of our administration and Board of Education involves investing money back into the classrooms and providing resources to support students’ social-emotional learning.

From a programmatic perspective, the 2020-2021 budget:

  • Pilots a new math program in grade 6
  •  Rolls out new Next Generation Science Standards material in grade 8
  •  Expands online learning platforms
  •  Expands the science online subscription for middle school
  •  Continues supporting the one-to-one Chromebook initiative in grades 3-8
  •  Supports clubs and extracurricular activities

In addition to maintaining current programs and co/extra-curricular offerings, other highlights of the 2020-2021 budget include resources for the following:

  • 3 New Positions (an increase of one FTE) including: BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst), Academic Support Teacher, and Social Worker
  •  Increase 10.5 month Math Supervisor to 12 month STEM Supervisor
  •  Additional financing for SRO’s

We have also budgeted funds towards maintenance and capital projects as we manage our infrastructure and care for our facilities including for the following facilities projects:

  • RHS Concrete and Bollard Project
  •  PRMS Classroom Flooring Project (to replace original carpeting A, B & F wings)
  •  PRMS Refinish Gym Floor
  •  RHS Various parking lot repairs (sinkholes and an addition of French drain)

Finally, security continues to be a priority for our community and thanks to the strong partnership between the district and the township, our School Resources Officers will maintain a high profile at each school building in 2020-2021.

Over the years, we in Robbinsville Public Schools have worked diligently to become fiscally strong. A hallmark of our district has been the ability to offset rising expenditures with alternative revenue sources. We continue to actively research ways to save taxpayer dollars and to create sustainable revenue sources in order to approach budgeting from a multi-year perspective. The Board of Education continues to pursue opportunities for shared service agreements as a way to reduce spending allowing us to support the budget through alternate streams of revenue rather than relying solely on taxpayer dollars. Moreover, we continue to search for ways to reduce rising healthcare costs and to advocate for our employees by promoting and providing wellness opportunities whenever possible.

As we remain deeply committed to fiscal stewardship and instructional excellence, I want to assure you that we will continue to prioritize the nature of our investments in ways that will result in the district’s continued success and competitive edge. We will remain true to the values of our community by ensuring a strong financial foundation while driving improved outcomes for all students.

We encourage you to click here  to access our April 27, 2020 budget presentation and to learn more about our 2020-2021 school year budget.

Sincerely,

Kathie Foster


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