May 20, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5 �������������������� � ������������������� District reduces staff � ������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������� � ������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������ � �������� ������� ���� �������� ��� ���� ������� ������� ��� �������� ��������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������ ��� ���� ������� ���� ������� ��������� ���� ��������� ��������������������������������������������� � ������������� ��� ��������� ���� ����� ����� ��������� ���� �������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������� �������� ������� �� �������� ��� �������� ��� ���� ����� ��������� ������ ��������� ������� ��� �� �������� ������ ������ �������� ������ �� ������ ����� ���� ��������� ������ ������� ��������� ����� ������������������������������� by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes K-8 School District has found it necessary to reduce its staff to stay within the state mandated four percent cap on the district’s budget and tax levy increase. Eight non-tenured teachers, one secretary, and two office aides have been laidoff, and one full time tenured teacher who worked part time as a language arts coordinator at the middle school will be returned to a full time teaching position. In addition, three tenured computer teaching positions have been eliminated from the district’s budget with those tenured teachers returned to the classroom, the middle school librarian position has been eliminated, and at least three basic skills instruction teachers will be returned to the classroom. Superintendent Roger Bayersdorfer explained that the reduction and reassignments were necessary because of the rise in the district’s fixed costs and the restriction of the state mandated cap. “In these tough economic times, we needed to make these reductions in order to fit within the state cap,” Bayersdorfer emphasized. “The school board set a priority to remain within the class size policy and, unfortunately, the reductions had to come from somewhere. We can’t control fixed costs and we can’t create a budget that doesn’t meet our obligations because that would be irresponsible.” In a recent letter to teachers and parents, Bayersdorfer acknowledged that staffing decisions are highly emotional and legally driven and that working with reductions that affect people’s careers is extremely sensitive. However, he emphasized that the district could not create a budget within the cap without cutting staff. “Given the major increase in fixed costs staying within the cap was a challenge,” Franklin Lakes ������������������� ���������������������� ���������� �������������� ����������� Bayersdorfer stated. He explained that 70 percent of the district’s total cost increase was due to a significant increase in health benefit costs and he added, “The board worked extremely hard to find every possible place to reduce the budget and only impact staffing that did not affect daily classroom instruction.” Bayersdorfer further explained that some non-tenured teachers, those in the district less than three years, needed to be laid-off in order to save places for tenured teachers because tenured teachers have the legal right to bump non-tenured teachers for their positions. According to Bayersdorfer, those tenured teachers who return to the classroom were either previously in the classroom or they maintained direct contact with the curriculum in their previous positions. “Needless to say, many more cuts would have been necessary if the school district’s budget had been defeated,” Bayersdorfer stated. “Thanks to the support of the community, we avoided deeper cuts.” The school district’s total budget this year is $27,886,988 including debt service for the fiscal 2009-10 school year, with a 2009 calendar year tax levy of $21,844,912 plus a debt service of $2,178,485. The total budget represents an increase of $915,940, or 3.40 percent, over the school district’s total 2008-09 budget, which was reduced after it was defeated at the polls. The calendar year tax levy has increased by $830,085 over last year’s tax levy, as adjusted for that year’s budget defeat, for an increase of 3.95 percent over the 2008 tax levy. The increase in the tax levy will result in a 0.0057 cent increase in the local school tax rate. The owner of a home assessed at the borough’s current $1,278,690 average assessed value will pay an additional $73 per year in local school taxes. �������� ������������ ����������������� ������������������� ���������������� ������������������ Randy’s Auto Repair 11 Crescent Ave, Waldwick (Formerly located at Citgo Station in Midland Park) Randy Mayo, proprietor 201-445-2722 Complete Auto Repair All major credit cards accepted. ASE Certified