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Superintendent's Message


SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE

SPRING 2019

 

Spring Flowers

Happy Spring!

The spring season brings with it many activities, which marks the conclusion of another school year as well as planning for the school year to come. In addition to spring athletics, fine and performing arts performances, concerts, and state testing, our staff has been planning for both summer and instructional programs for the new school year that are aligned to our strategic plan. We are continuously working on our school safety and security plan where security upgrades are being made to our school entrances.

The spring season also lends itself to the budgeting process to meet the strategic plan and improve student achievement. As you know, we have suffered through many years of being underfunded due to an arbitrary cap placed on the growth of state aid. Our state aid has been frozen for over a decade at 40 million dollars. Most recently, A-2/S-2 has removed the state aid growth cap and calls for us to receive an increase of state aid over a six-year period. This year we received an extra 4.2 million dollars and we are grateful for this additional money; however, millions of dollars of requests were cut in the budgeting process to get to the allowable budget cap.  Please know that this extra money only allowed us to keep our current staff and programs for our students. We are still not near to the amount needed to provide our students a thorough and efficient education.  In fact, we need an additional $28.3 million to fully fund the amount we should be spending per pupil to provide an adequate education according to the state standards.

I would like to remind us all that over 100 teaching positions, including remedial and literacy coaches, elementary World Languages program, 4th grade instrumental music, 6th grade athletics, Drivers Education, and our School Resource Officers, to name a few, had to be eliminated because of underfunding. I ask you to please understand that Egg Harbor Township is unique because of its history of rapid growth in population and the lack of funding to support the growth. The good news is that our situation has been recognized and we are receiving some support to help us get back to meeting the needs of all students. We need to support the efforts of A-2/S-2 and keep reminding all that we are in need of these funds each and every year.

For more information on funding, please refer to the following links:

 http://www.eht.k12.nj.us/superintendent_s_corner/state_of_the_schools and

http://www.eht.k12.nj.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_252233/File/Board%20of%20Education/Funding%20Committee/TESTIMONY-Egg%20Harbor%20Twp.%20Senate%20&%20Assembly%20Budget%20Committees%202019.pdf

We are seeking your assistance with ideas for our newly formed Community Funding Committee. Goal #2 (Strategic priority 2.4, Initiative 2.4) of the strategic plan seeks to build relationships between businesses and the district to create economic growth, to pursue equitable school funding and to grant opportunities to secure sufficient resources and obtain alternative streams of revenue. Ms. Anaya, our Business Administrator, has been assigned to this portion of the strategic plan and is leading the charge by facilitating community meetings to meet this goal. Please come join us! Refer to this link for more information:

http://www.eht.k12.nj.us/superintendent_s_corner/funding_committee

As you can see we are very busy Embracing, Engaging, and Educating our school community about our current reality as well as our future goals. I welcome you to join us as we look to work together with our community to provide the students of Egg Harbor Township the very, very best and prepare them for the expansive global society in which they live.



Dr. Kim Gruccio 
Superintendent of Schools

 


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