1. How is the budget prepared?
The process extends through most of the year.
· Starting in October or November, administrators and teachers look at past costs and project what they think will likely be needed a year later.
· In December, “wish lists” are compiled for major areas of spending, based on board goals and objectives
· Meetings are held by the administration and the Board, to balance wishes vs. needs, based upon the prediction of what they believe will be the restrictions of the state under CAP.
· In January, drafts are prepared and budget workshops are held with the public
· In February & March, State Aid is received and a preliminary budget is approved by the Board and submitted to the State.
· The State approves the budget and the Board presents it with any revisions to the public at a public hearing in May.
2. What is CAP?
CAP is the maximum year over year increase in the tax revenue line of the budget, as mandated by the state. It is calculated at 2% plus automatic adjustment for increases in enrollment or health care costs The State now allows unused CAP to be “banked” for a maximum of three years.
3. What is required for the budget to pass?
Provided the state-approved budget stays within CAP, it is not subject to a community vote and simply becomes the district’s budget for the coming fiscal year.
4. When and where do the voters vote on the budget?
As of 2012, the district budget is no longer subject to a community vote provided it is within the State-mandated CAP. Both communities will continue to vote for at –large members of the Board of Education and that vote has moved to the November General Election.
· Clinton residents vote at the Clinton Community Center on Halstead Street in Clinton.
· Glen Gardner residents vote at the Glen Gardner Borough Hall at 83 Main Street, Glen Gardner.
· If you are not available to vote on Election Day, you may request a Vote by Mail ballot from the County Clerk’s office in Flemington. There is a link to the ballot on the CPS website.
5. What happens when a Separate Budget Question (Cap over-ride) is requested in a November Election?
If the November separate question (cap over-ride) is approved by the voters, it is merged with the current budget and would allow the district to increase spending in the current budget year for the purpose cited in the voter-approved referendum.
When the separate question is voted down, the district must accept the voters’ decision and the current budget remains at the legal spending limit or CAP.
6. What types of things do the PTA, Booster Club and Education Foundation fund?
All three of these groups are invaluable to the experience of a CPS student. Parents are encouraged to participate, as the success and maintenance of these organizations depend upon involvement. The financial investments that each group contributes to the school are outside of the general budget and, as much as we have come to count on them in recent years, they cannot be guaranteed without their continued support.
· The PTA generally funds items that enhance students’ experiences, build teacher resources, and reinforce our positive school climate. Examples of past purchases include SMART Boards, funding for Gallery Time and the Character Education program, and sponsorship of school assemblies.
· The Athletic Booster Club helps support athletics at CPS. They purchase uniforms and equipment for the sports teams and help maintain playing surfaces.
· The Music Parent Association was created to help fund music programs at CPS. They purchase instruments and equipment for the band in an effort to make a musical education available to as many students as possible. The Association also sponsors an end of the year program where our student-musicians are recognized for the achievements.
· The Partners in Education Foundation (CPSPIE) raises money made available for teacher grants for programs or materials. Recent grants include assisting with the development of an outdoor learning center, funding an e-reader imitative, and additional SMART Boards.