New school buses, WiFi slated for West Milford School District

| 16 Feb 2012 | 12:53

WEST MILFORD — Additional funds were received from the State of New Jersey as a result of a lawsuit by school districts regarding cuts in state aid last year. The West Milford school district will use the funds, amounting to $657,380, toward the purchase of new school buses, wireless network installation, and to offset additional costs of tuition to private schools for the disabled.

School district Business Administrator/Secretary Barbara Francisco explained that this was additional funding received from the state after a lawsuit last year on the funding formula given in July. The additional funds could be used in this year’s budget or next year.

Francisco said the board’s Finance Committee identified these specific items based on need and approved the use of the funding for them. The use of the money this year was also approved by the executive county superintendent. Francisco said that the same funding may not be received next year, so it was prudent to purchase items for which money will not be required on an annual basis. She said the intent is to maximize the use of the money received.

Eight new buses School buses have not been purchased in two years, Francisco said. Additional money was needed for special education placements and the wireless network only has to be installed once. After that, the only cost would be for maintenance and repair.

The extra aid will be spent like this: special education tuition:$100,000; lease/purchase school buses: $105,380; WiFi installation: $225,000; Purchase school buses: $227,000.

The board also authorized the submission of the 2011-2012 Revised Budget, reflecting the changes in aid and expenditures, to the executive county superintendent for approval as required.

Trustee John Aiello voted no on the revised budget, saying they could get a better price on the buses. Trustee Jim Foody abstained on all items. Trustees Greg Bailey and Barbara Carter were absent.