CHESTERFIELD, NJ –
At Wednesday’s Chesterfield Elementary School Board of Education meeting, officials voted to overturn an earlier ruling which eliminated the Instrumental Music Program and Library instruction.
On April 26th of this year, the board voted to remove the instrumental music program and library instruction. During that meeting, Board Vice-President Peggy Hallion responded to a public comment, saying “The thought of laying off a teacher or a paraprofessional had me awake many a night. Okay? Yes, this budget is terrible. We’ve got a beautiful school, we’ve got fantastic staff… and we’re going to get some money, somewhere. My main thing right this minute is to open these doors next September with the money that our kids deserve.”
With last month’s agreement between lawmakers at the state level regarding school funding, Chesterfield is set to receive an additional $401,205 towards the 2017-2018 school year, bringing the total funding to $821,188. This supplemental aid is a far cry from the millions our school district is allotted based on the 2008 School Funding Formula, but it has nearly doubled our state aid, and greatly reduced the $500,000 deficit the school board faced at the end of the last school year.
The meeting began with public comments from parents strongly suggesting that the board use the supplemental aid from the state to bring back the 5 paraprofessionals that were let go. In total, 5 people spoke during the first public comments portion and every one of them wanted to “throw in their support for the paras”.