The Linden Board of Education on Tuesday, April 27, unanimously approved a budget for the 2021-2022 school year.
“This new budget includes a zero tax levy increase for the third year in a row, no debt, no cuts to staff, student programs, or services,” said Kathleen A. Gaylord, business administrator and board secretary.
Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton said it was important to deliver a strong budget after a year of dealing with COVID-19 and virtual learning.
“We are very happy with all that has happened over the past year to be able to maintain this level of stability for our school community,” said Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton. “This budget is fiscally sound so we can continue to support our students and staff without putting an undue burden on our Linden taxpayers.”
The budget of $156,656,777 is supported by $42,761,799 in total aid from New Jersey. It includes funding for an added guidance counselor and social worker, enhanced professional development for staff, and free summer school for remedial and enrichment learning programs.
It also funds the continuation of the district’s One-to-One technology initiative, which provides every student from Pre-K to Grade 12 an Apple laptop or tablet, which have been vital during virtual learning.
“We know zero tax increases are possible without cutting services in our school district,” said Board of Education Vice President Carlos A. Rivas. “I am a believer that following the precedent put forth by the mayor of our city, together as a team, we will continue to be fiscally responsible and always put our children, teachers, and residents first.”
The budget also includes necessary capital projects including:
- Bathroom renovations at Schools No. 1, 4 and 10
- Replacement of boilers at Schools No. 1 and 4
- Installation of air conditioning in the gym and cafeteria at Schools No. 6 and 9
- Construction and renovation at the Linden High School Academy Building for the creation of a freshman academy