On March 31, Superintendent Triggiano and Business Manager Cartotto made a joint presentation on the proposed Dumont Schools 2011-2012 budget (video here). The takeaway I had from the hour long slide show was this:
Triggiano: I am pleased to say that if our budget is successful at 2%, we are not planning
on making any major changes in stafﬁng or programs at this time.
I thought that sounded great, until I noticed the following:
- If the district received almost $400,000 more state aid and $310,000 more federal aid than last year, why does the district want another $618,006 from taxpayers?
- In the 2009-2010 budget, the regular student enrollment estimate for the coming year was up 6 but actually down 20, or 1% error. For 2010-2011 the estimate was up 27 but was actually down 40, or almost 3% error. For that, the 2011-12 estimate has little credibility with me. Why has the district overestimated student enrollment for the past two years?
- Except for the district superintendent, the employment contracts of Business Administrator (1) and Coordinator/Director/Manager/Supervisor (3) are up for renewal this year.
I do not make these comments lightly. Both of my children are in Dumont schools, but I am also a taxpayer. In my humble opinion, I think the statement "This board of education has decided to remain at the 2% limit recommended by the governor" smacks of ignorance at best, arrogance at worst and endemic of an attitude that became obsolete when the recession began three years ago.
Why this is not an April fools' nightmare but the bleak reality?