Budget Hearing for Lawrence Township Public Schools

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    Dr. Crystal Edwards, Superintendent, presented Lawrence Township Public School’s 2016-2017 proposed budget during Wednesday night’s hearing. If approved, the $70,933,554 budget will reflect a $2.4 million expenditure increase and a 2.74% tax increase from last year. Employee salaries and benefits represent the majority (78%) of the total budget.

    Acknowledging the public’s reluctance to see costs increase, yet affirming the district’s commitment to the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Goals, Edwards spoke about her objection to cutting staff salaries. This, she said, “would sacrifice some of the quality.” She did however, point to efforts being made to find more competitive healthcare bids as part of staff benefits, more seriously scrutinize  energy consumption and transportation efficiencies, refinance debt, generate revenue through building use, and look into funding through grants.

    Discussion of the budget will continue during the Board of Education’s next meeting on May 11. At this time, the board will also interview interested candidates to fill the vacancy left by Glenn Collins. Resumes and letters of interest from the public are welcome through May 3rd. Correspondence should be sent to Business Administrator/Board Secretary, Thomas Eldridge, (TEldridge@ltps.org).

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    Angela Jacobs
    Angela Jacobs is a freelance writer who lives in Hopewell Township with her teenaged children and partner of 20 years. Despite her best efforts to simplify her life, last year she added four chickens and a second rescue dog to her pet menagerie. Unfortunately, an interim of peaceful coexistence ended with the untimely demise of two of the chickens at the paws of Jax, the new dog. An egregious lack of impulse control has since been diagnosed resulting in an indefinite separation of Jax from all present and future chickens, her two cockatiels, open garbage cans, snacks open on tables, abandoned stuffed animals, etc. She does however gently encourage him toward a certain industrious squirrel that has spelunked its way through her backyard in search of the most perfect hiding spot for its nuts.

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