March 4, 2021, 7:30pm-9:00pm
Registration required via Zoom link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAlcOmpqDIqHdVlzZN3HhlgSwq2pmjgvI2o
Do you have questions about the Montclair Public Schools Budget process? Come join us for a panel discussion featuring MPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds, Business Administrator Emidio D’Andrea, Supervisor of Accounting Melissa Beattie, and former MPS Business Administrator and PTAC Vice President Brian Fleischer, that will look to answer the following questions and more:
- What are the respective roles and responsibilities of MPS Central Office, school principals, the Board of Education and the Board of School Estimate in the development, review and execution of the operating budget and capital budget for our schools?
- What laws and regulations govern the school district’s budgeting process? What is the “two percent cap”?
- What types of revenues and expenditures are included in the operating budget? How are future revenues and expenditures projected, and how much of it is science or art?
- How does MPS monitor and manage the operating budget and how does that in-year budget management impact subsequent year budgets?
- What is the “fund balance”, how is it generated, and how does it impact the operating and capital budgets?
- What inputs are considered in projecting staffing needs (e.g., enrollment fluctuations and projections, class size targets, student IEPs, principal requests)?
- How do the “position control roster”, the collective bargaining agreements and “salary breakage” impact budget development and budget management?
- How are the district’s capital construction and capital maintenance needs assessed and prioritized, and what facilities and maintenance needs are funded in the operating budget versus through the capital budget (Township bond/debt issuance), and how does the district fund and utilize Capital Reserve and Maintenance Reserve?
- Why do we seem to face a budget gap every year that limits the district’s ability to meet new needs requests or even sustain existing staffing and programs given how high Montclair’s residential property taxes are? Why are our residential property taxes so high?
- Where do I find public information about the district’s budget and financial management? What is the “User Friendly Budget”? What information is contained in the monthly financial reporting to the BOE? How can I compare Montclair’s spending patterns with those of other districts?
- How can I be heard in the budget process?