“Follow the Money” is a workshop about understanding school budgets that I’ve been offering for years. Because all NJ school districts use the same formats and regualtions, the materials I’ve developed about the Paterson budget can be used for any NJ community. However, Paterson remains my major concern. Someday [soon, Lord, soon], Paterson will return to local control. When we do, we gain the right to set our school spending. Voters will vote on our school budget. What voters understand about the budget will be key to improving schools in Paterson.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the school budget process. The biggest misunderstanding [I could even call it a myth] is that local school taxes will rise when we regain local control. That is not necessarily true. Paterson does not receive any additional money because it is in state operation. None, not one red cent. Paterson receives state support under the rules and procedures as any other NJ community. So when the state returns control, the Paterson School Board will set the budget and the local tax rate. Then Paterson voters will vote on any proposed tax increase.
Want to understand more? Join me next Monday, March 21st for PEF’s budget workshop at PEF’s offices at 6:30 pm. We’ll look at the new budget proposals and develop your questions for the budget hearing next Wednesday, March 23.
Want to know what our educational priorities are? Follow the Money.
Want to set a course for student achievement? Look for the Money.
See you Monday!