Chief School Administrator Mike Ryder detailed the Hardyston Township School budget for 2022-2023 at the May 5 board of education meeting, which also covered projects and upgrades for next year.
Ryder told the Advertiser that the great news is that Hardyston schools are doing so many building projects despite having $889,000 less state aid than they had four years ago.
The total budget for the 2022-2023 school year is $15,416,340. Total revenues from local sources for the 2022-2023 school year are estimated at $10,663,428. The local tax levy stands at $10,645,827. The budget also includes a line for “miscellaneous revenue” set at $16,500,000.
Total revenue from state sources is $1,306,080 and allocated as follows:
School Choice (refers to alternative education available to parents who do not want to send their children to the local school district school which they were assigned): $107,702
Transportation Aid: $452,207
Special Ed Aid: $461,016
Security Aid: $61,773
Adjustment Aid: $223,812
Other Budget line items include a $674,865 budgeted fund balance, a withdrawal of $1,460,000 from the Capital Reserve, and a withdrawal of $370,000 from the maintenance reserve, which includes maintaining roofing at schools, AC repair, and water softener services, among others.
The Capital Reserve withdrawal includes water supply upgrades (municipal water hook-up), catch basin updates, and electric upgrades for Hardyston Elementary School; future upgrades are eyed for the air conditioning unit and the parking lots.
Ryder noted that the district had some teachers that retired, and even though they have not replaced these teachers, the students have not suffered at all academically because of the need to combine classes.
Ryder told the Advertiser that the schools are also making instructional improvements, including adding a third counselor from Tri County Behavioral Health to assist students that need support. Hardyston will hold a kindergarten summer academy and a Wilson Reading summer academy. The Wilson Reading System is an intervention program to help students who struggle with reading.
Ryder thanked the board of education members, the administration and the staff “for all your hard work and smart ideas — together we do great things for our children!”
Board of Education member Nick Demsak said, “I wanted to thank everyone for how far we have come and how refreshing and exciting it is to see these conversations that we have had come to fruition. Thank you!”
Ron Hoffman, Hardyston Township board president, talked about how he has been a member of the board for the last six years. “There have been massive changes over the six years. I admire the staff and I feel that our board is the most transparent board in Sussex County.”
Hoffman talked about how there are many factors that go into the strategic planning that most people don’t realize, and how the board really appreciates all the suggestions from the residents. Hoffman explained that Hardyston has been very frugal, and because of this they have not had to cut any staffing. Hoffman thanked everyone involved in helping to make Hardyston Township schools a success.