Montclair’s Board of Education meeting on December 20 was more talk about ways the school board can close the $6.7 million budget gap. For months, options have been thrown out, including closing schools, cutting transportation costs, eliminating bus aides and renegotiating teacher contracts.
The latter was shut down by Margaret Astorino, Interim President of the Montclair Education Association (MEA), who says in this YouTube video, which is making the rounds in Montclair, “The contract is written. It’s good until June 30, 2012. We have no intention whatsoever of reopening that contract.”
Instead, the MEA offers its own cost cutting recommendations on its website:
These cost savings recommendations were solicited from the MEA members reviewed by Executive Board, discussed and revised by Rep. Council, published in the Upfront and given the to Board of Education for consideration.
- Disperse the Pre-K DLC to other buildings – saves tuition, parking for staff and paying rent.
- Check all thermostats in schools and regularly monitor efficiency of heating.
- Re-evaluate the extended school year for the DLC and bring to the minimal legal requirements.
- Explore pay to participate for sports and clubs.
- Open field house/weight room and charge for use of facility. Have a fee that is less than area gyms.
- Have district run before and after care at all buildings.
- District has extra furniture, have a sale or look to other districts that may want to buy used furniture to save the expense of new. When Renaissance moved to Rand a lot of good furniture was thrown away.
- Start our own Pre-K and charge tuition?
- Lease the Board of Education office building
- Move the Board of Education to Bullock .
- We support bringing the special education kids back to the district. Find the teachers and aides needed from among our current staff and train if necessary. Since we have space available, use it. Put a cap on how much we spend per special needs child.
- Ramp up efforts to find out of district students.
- Ask administrators to take a freeze or a cut.
- Audit bus routes (including number of riders) for efficiency.
- Make renting the buildings profitable.
- Look into advertising dollars. (fields, gyms, buildings)
- Monitor productivity at Central Office and cap administrative salaries.
- Follow through on revenue raising suggestions that can be immediately implemented.
- District wide fundraising by all the PTA’s . Put all into a fund to save jobs.
- Get rid of convocation speakers and use in-house personnel.
- Eliminate consultants and compensate our own members.
- Cut supervisors at Central Office
- Examine the calendar year. (It was suggested that during the 70’s oil crisis February break was created to save money).
- Encourage more Grant writing by Central Office staff.
- Why is the board not suing the State for not funding the district? How are we supposed to deliver a constitutionally mandated “thorough and efficient education” in the midst of extreme budgetary restraints?
- Charge tuition for summer school and provide open enrollment fee based summer school.
- Utilize star portal, do more electronic forms.
- Look into the following for possible cost reductions:
230-890 Dues Superintendants Office $43,672.
Business supplies/Personnel supplies $9,241./
$43,787 shouldn’t this be under the CO supplies?
Look at page 78 Admin supplies $48,233.
The next public school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 24 at the Atrium of the George Inness Annex on 141 Park Street.