Steven Nilhas outlined the plan at a joint meeting of the school board and budget committee, emphasizing the need to stay within the tax cap.
Newfound Area School District faces tough decisions as Interim Superintendent Steven Nilhas unveils a budget proposal grappling with a 16.4% surge in health insurance costs
Despite a $154,524 increase in estimated revenue for the 2024-25 fiscal year, the budget ballooned to $2.3 million, surpassing the tax cap limit by $1.846 million. Steven Nilhas explores avenues to offset this imbalance, considering potential cuts in facilities spending and expressing concern over deferred maintenance.
The Health Trust participation surge contributes an additional $428,604 to the budget, while contractual expenses for transportation, teachers’ salaries, and special education contracts amplify financial strain. Steven Nilhas proposes a discretionary increase, reinstating a fifth-grade teacher position at Danbury Elementary School.
Steven Nilhas initially makes “easy” cuts, but the shortfall persists, prompting tough decisions
Field trips face elimination, with a reduction of $71,950, and staff cuts amounting to $544,091, affecting elementary, middle, and high school teachers, support staff, and district-wide positions.
While Steven Nilhas seeks alternative insurance options, voters have the chance to influence spending at the deliberative session in February. Steven Nilhas acknowledges the impact of inflation, expressing hope for cost-saving measures through renegotiating teacher contracts and achieving economies of scale.
Despite the financial constraints, Steven Nilhas voices concerns about morale within the school community and the potential loss of teaching positions. As the budget committee reviews the proposal, the school board will vote on supporting it in preparation for the deliberative session on Feb. 3, with ballot voting scheduled for March 12.