State School Aid Appears to Double for Haddonfield
The governor announced $318,000 in additional aid this year, but local state legislators warn of cuts.
The Haddonfield school board met Thursday for the second time this week amid a musical chairs of administrative changes and what would appear to be a doubling of state aid.
The board approved the appointment of Gino Priolo to be the next middle school principal and Karen Joy Schultz to replace him as the principal of Tatem elementary. Priolo replaces Noah Tennant, who is leaving the district for a position in the Philadelphia school district.
Schultz was formerly a third-grade teacher here at Elizabeth Haddon elementary.
The district is also scrambling to account for what appears to be a doubling of state aid this year. Gov. Christie announced a sweeping aid package to the schools this week, including an additional $318,946 for Haddonfield. The district was awarded $318,947 earlier this year.
School board President Steve Weinstein said the money is welcome but the clock is ticking.
"My understanding is that we can use the money in three ways," Weinstein said before the meeting. "We can use it for tax relief, but we would have to approve that by July 19; we can use if for expenses this year, but we would need to get the approval of the county superintendent of schools; or we could use it next year."
The announcement of additional aid was clouded by a statement released from local state legislators Thursday indicating Haddonfield would lose $791,887 in state school aid.
"In taking out his veto pen, Governor Christie has slashed school aid to protect lower taxes for millionaires," the statement read. "As a result, Haddonfield will lose an estimated $791,887 in school funding—a cut of 55 percent."
Brian McGinnis, communications director for 6th district Assembly members Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), Pam Lampitt (D-Camden) explained the statement on Friday.
"The Democratic Legislative budget proposal provided Haddonfield with approximately $1.4 million in school aid," McGinnis said. "The Governor's line item veto cut that amount by approximately $791,000 (55.4% of the proposed amount). As a result, Haddonfield will receive approximately $637,000 in school aid, instead of the $1.4 million supported by Assemblyman Greenwald and Assemblywoman Lampitt."
The additional state aid was not part of the agenda on Thursday.