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March 2013

Hoboken Board of Education





The Proposed 20132014 School Budget

Over the past several weeks, the Hoboken Board of Education and the school administration have been working diligently to develop a budget that strikes a dicult balanceone that provides adequately for eective student learning while taking into account the legitimate concerns of taxpayers in a state with the highest property taxes in the country. The Board of Education is proud to have provided the community with a slight decrease in the school tax levy for the past three years despite rising costs. But this year we are presented with several challenges, the biggest of which are: An unexpected loss of $450,000 in Federal funds as a result of sequestration, A requirement to pay down a decit that built up over many years in the districts Food Service program, and An increase of $553,000 in charter funding due to the addition of a new grade level at one of the charter schools.

The Hoboken Board of Education Leon Gold, Ph.D. President Ruth McAllister Vice President Peter Biancamano Carmelo Garcia Thomas Kluepfel Rose Marie Markle Jean Marie Mitchell Frances Rhodes-Kearns Irene Sobolov

In light of this, we must increase revenues by $1.86 million. Although the budget is adequate to the educational needs of our children, I must emphasize that this budget does require considerable sacrice, including reductions in new educational programs, personnel, and planned capital improvements. As a member of the Hoboken Board of Education, Ive listened to the parents and residents who not only expect more from the district, but that we increase student achievement in a disciplined, cost-eective manner. The board and the administration could not agree more and I hope that, upon careful review of the budget, you, in turn, will agree that we have balanced educational needs with nancial prudence. Sincerely,

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Toback

Leon Gold, Ph.D. President, Hoboken Board of Education





20132014 Budget
in millions of dollars

Local Tax Levy

$ 37.95

State Aid $21.67


Fedl Aid


Fund Balance Applied


Although Hobokens three public charter schools are independent of the Hoboken Board of Education, they are funded through a single tax levy for which the district has responsibility. It is for this reason that the Hoboken Board of Education budget includes funding for the charter schools.

State-Mandated and Funded Pre-K

Total Revenue

Elysian Charter School Hoboken Charter School HoLa Charter School

Hoboken High School Wallace Elementary School



Hoboken District Public Schools

Salvatore R. Calabro School Thomas G. Connors Elementary School

Joseph F. Brandt Primary School

The 2013-2014 Hoboken Board of Education budget is a multi-page spreadsheet containing hundreds of line items. The chart at right presents the budget in an accessible, less daunting way; it is meant to engage, inform and empower the public. The arrows at the top show the revenue sources. Then, the budgets many line items are grouped into logical categories, each with subcategories and the amounts budgeted. (For the sake of comparison and accountability, the 20122013 dollar amounts are also included.) Although the dollar amounts are rounded, this chart accurately presents the entire budget.

Student Instruction
Some Pre-K, All K12

Salaries, Textbooks and Supplies


Student Services
Placements for Students with Special Needs


Federal & Non-Pre-K State Programs
State: Youth

Special Education

Child Study Teams

$1.99 $11.2 Bilingual Education

$3.73 Summer and At-Risk Programs

$1.71 Curriculum Supervisors

$1.42 Speech, OT & One-to-One Aids

Services, Family Centers

Federal: No Child Left Behind Title I, Title II...



$0.29 Athletics

$0.09 Co- and ExtraCurricular Activities

$1.27 Guidance Counsellors

$0.98 School Nurses and Medical Supplies

Capital Outlay & Equipment

Instructional Equipment (e.g., Textbooks)





Construction Services, School Bus, etc.




Maintenance & Facilities Salaries, Supplies


Salary Costs
Health Benets

$7.92 Social Security

Administrative Costs
Salaries, Supplies, Legal, Phones


Custodians, Heat, Electricity, Cleaning Services, Water, Sewer, Supplies Gasoline

$4.96 Retirement

$1.01 Unemployment Compensation & Workers Comp.

$3.65 Pupil Transportation

$1.43 Security (Salaries and Equipment)

Superintendents Ofce

Business Ofce

$0.81 Principals Ofces

$0.66 Technology

$1.28 Insurance

$0.35 Care of Grounds

$0.59 Tuition Reimbursement

$0.42 Other Benets



Miscellaneous Costs





How to read the chart: Description of Expense Budgeted for 20132014* 20122013 Amount**

Library and Media Services


Afterschool Programs/Local Grants

Food Service Decit

Debt Service




Attendance Ofcers


* All dollars amounts are rounded up and expressed as millions of dollars. For example, $1,476,406 is expressed as $1.48; $328,847 is expressed as $0.33. ** This amount is based on actual expenses from July 1, 2013 through January 31, 2013 plus estimated amounts for the balance of the scal year.

20132014 Budget Q&A

What impact will the budget have on residents? The impact of the budget on the average residence currently assessed at $145,000 is $34.42 per year. (Source: City of Hoboken Tax Assessor Ofce) How is it possible that we have a budget in excess of $64,000,000? The school funding in this budget supports what is essentially four school districts within our mile-square city. In addition to the Hoboken Public Schools, there are three independent public charter schools: Elysian Charter School, Hoboken Charter School, and the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa). Also, the preschool program serving 700 young children is funded almost entirely by the stateit is essentially ow through funding that allows three approved providers to provide educational services. The charter school allocation and the preschool funding amounts to $18.0 million. The actual budget for the Hoboken Public Schools (Grades K12) is $46.3 million. Why are you reducing staff positions? The administration determined that under difcult nancial circumstances, certain positions can be eliminated to reduce the burden on taxpayers. Some positions may be eliminated through scheduling, re-assignment, and unlled retirements. The number of positions may be reduced without terminating employees. What has been done by the school district to reduce my property tax burden? Over the past three years, the district has not increased the tax levy and the budget has been slightly reduced

despite increasing costs in many areas. During the past few years, the Hoboken Board of Education also undertook a number of projects and initiatives to reduce costs in consideration of the taxpayers. Some examples include: Budgeting approximately $1,500,000 of surplus as budget revenue to reduce the impact on taxpayers; Reduction of a number of positions and not replacing some employees who retired; Allowing for increased school choice enrollment of students outside of Hoboken; Increased vigilance for issues of residency; Participation in various purchasing co-ops to obtain the best value; Installation of energy efcient lighting systems and other energy efciency projects; Technology initiatives that allow for increased operational efciency throughout the district; Identication of areas of high cost and a development of plans and goals to reduce costs; Insourcing certain aspects of the preschool education program; Ongoing efforts to share services with the city; and Continued efforts to share services with other school districts for educational services. Explain the tax cap, please. New Jersey legislation imposes a 2% cap on the tax levy for schools. However, the state allows waivers for certain non-discretionary expenses. In addition, districts have the ability to use what is known as banked cap. Banked cap means that the district is

permitted to utilize spending authority it has accumulated in prior years when its budgeting fell below the 2% cap. What are the major cost factors in the development of the 20132014 budget? Important cost factors this year include: Sequestration of federal funds used to support our students in greatest need; Increased costs for insurance; Increased requirements for funding to charter schools due to enrollment increases; Increased enrollment at lower grade levels require some stafng changes; Requirements to reduce a long-time decit for our food service operations, and Increased costs for tuition to schools for the disabled. How was a decit created in food service? Over many years, the district lost millions of dollars in its food service business. Many of those losses were covered over the years with transfers from other accounts. Even with those past transfers, the district has accumulated losses approaching $1,000,000. Some of the losses were due to loss of perishable food items and equipment, but much of it has to do with payment for school lunch. Recently, the district took steps to rectify the problems with our food service operations and is expecting to stop the losses and at least break even this year. However, the district must now pay down the decit in order to comply with directives from the school district auditor and the New Jersey Department of Education.
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Hoboken Board Of Education 158 Fourth Street Hoboken, NJ 07030

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How has the district used the budget to support teaching and learning? The district took a number of steps to improve the teaching and learning process in Hoboken and has made a signicant investment in instructional materials, technology, and curriculum. For example: The district has, for the past two budget cycles, focused on replacing outof-date instructional materials; students in the elementary school have new science materials and new math textbooks. The 20132014 budget includes funding to purchase language arts textbooks for students in the elementary schools. The new textbooks will help the district to make a required transition to the new Common Core State Standards.



Budget for HBoE Students



In addition to textbooks for students in the elementary schools, a signicant investment has been made to replace out-of-date textbooks at Hoboken High School. The budget includes funding to support new online learning opportunities to allow students to pursue coursework that may not be possible due to low class enrollment. In other cases, advanced classes may be offered to students online. The 2013 2014 budget supports the continuation of the AIM Program at Hoboken High School. The AIM program is an alternative high school program for atrisk youth and is one of the rst blended learning environments in Hudson County. Students are able to retrieve lost credit, receive remedial instruction, and position themselves for high school

graduation. The program works well for the students and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars less than the alternative high school program once housed at A.J. Demarest School. Improving educational technology is an important part of our school improvement efforts and also necessary to support the new learning standards. Approximately $100,000 is included in the budget to enhance technology in the classrooms. The district also took a huge step forward with new Smartboards in the elementary classrooms. Almost all district curricula has been aligned to the new standards and we are in compliance with all curricular changes required by the New Jersey Department of Education.

HBoE Budget and Student Enrollment 2009 2014

Enrollment numbers are those submitted to the NJ Department of Education Application for School State Aid, minus Pre-K and charter school students. Enrollment for 20132014 is estimated.

$70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

2100 1800

HBoE Student Enrollment







1200 900 600 300 0






Budget for HBoE Students (in millions of dollars)

Student Enrollment
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