Wayne Township Public Schools 2017-2018 BUDGET OVERVIEW

We are pleased to provide the community with an overview of the 2017-2018 school district budget. Like many school districts in New Jersey, the Wayne Township Public Schools are budgeting at a time of declining state and federal support for public education, combined with other reductions in revenue. At the same time, expectations for school performance have never been higher due to a number of new mandated learning standards. Our challenge is to develop a budget that keeps the Wayne Township Public Schools "ahead of the curve" by not just meeting, but exceeding the requirements established with these new standards while recognizing the plight of taxpayers in a state with some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

Next Generation Science Standards

One major area of investment in the proposed budget includes a host of academic, facility, and technology improvements that will support learning under the mandated Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The proposed budget includes $500,000 in funding to support major improvements in our high school science labs, as well as $450,000 worth of instructional materials for elementary teachers and students.

An elementary science committee has been working diligently to prepare for the implementation of the new science standards. The requirement from the New Jersey Department of Education is that all elementary schools will be prepared to meet the demands of the new science standards during the 2017-2018 school year. This means that as a district, we are required to approve curriculum, establish pacing guides, and provide teachers with instructional materials and resources along with professional development programs.

To get a jump start in acquainting ourselves with the Next Generation Science Standards, the elementary science committee worked last summer to develop a resource so our teachers could introduce the unit topics and instructional practices during the 2016-17 school year. This was a great way for our teachers to become familiar with the content and rigor of the Next Generation Science Standards.

The committee also looked carefully at various science program options, and recently reached a unanimous decision that the National Geographic Exploring Science Program would be the best resource to meet our needs as a district. This program offers texts (both paper and interactive ebooks), hands on materials to facilitate inquiry based explorations and leveled literacy based text sets to further explore the unit topics at each grade level.

Building an Intervention Model

During the 2015-2016 school year, the district worked to create a unified approach for language arts instruction that included the introduction of an early intervention program in the primary grades. The goal was to provide intervention to students as they developed their reading skills as opposed to providing remediation in later years. A lot was accomplished. The district selected the Wilson Reading Program as our intervention model. Our reading specialists completed the Wilson Level 1 certification training, and over 60 teachers completed a three-day training program.

In the current school year, the Fundations foundational skills program, which is part of the Wilson Reading System, was implemented in our kindergarten and first grade classrooms. This program has already had a huge impact with addressing many high priority needs. Our budget includes $31,000 to continue to expand the program into second grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

A Major Investment in Language Arts

The proposed budget includes a $750,000 investment to bring a new language arts program to the Wayne Township Public Schools. Over the past two years, a committee has been working to identify the best program for our district. In order to identify the best model, the district has been piloting a number of excellent options. The new program will include an abundance of materials for teachers and students including interactive technology tools.

Establishing a One-to-One Computing Model in THE Wayne Township High Schools

Our proposed budget includes funding to bring a one-to-one computing environment to ninth and tenth grade students at both high schools. This means that the students will be receiving a Chromebook for their individual use for the duration of the school year. The district has been investing in a network that can provide the level of computing power needed for this important change. The final step is to place the devices in the hands of the students and provide the training necessary for our teachers to use this new classroom tool. The start-up cost to supply students with Chromebooks is approximately $420,000 and it would be funded through a lease agreement. A large part of the cost will be offset by the fact that the district will not need to replace the aging computer labs at both high schools that are due for an upgrade.

The district has a strong foundation to move forward with technology.

  • Approximately 50 teachers have become Google Certified Educators with more becoming certified each month.
  • Chromebooks are already heavily used throughout the district.
  • Connectivity and the expansion of Wi-Fi has been a major component of technology budgets for a number of years.

Expanding Local Educational Options FOR OUR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

In addition to developing an alternative high school program (SOAR or Secondary Options for Academic Recovery) and a host of other new learning opportunities for our special needs population, the budget includes funding ($629,000) that will allow for additional classrooms for pre-school students, as well as funding ($350,000) for an additional classroom for students with multiple disabilities. The goal is to always provide the least restrictive educational environment by offering outstanding local educational options for our students with disabilities. The district is increasing the overall budget for special education by over $750,000.

Protecting Your Investment

The residents of Wayne have invested in a school system that includes facilities with a value of over $160,000,000. During the past two years, the district moved forward with a number of safety and security projects, roofing projects, and ADA compliance projects. In addition to the $500,000 to be invested in renovating high school science labs, the district will be looking to undertake important repair work for the gymnasium window system at Anthony Wayne Middle School.


The budget calls for an additional investment in professional development for our employees. Over the past few years, the Board significantly increased the budget for training employees. The budget includes $433,000 for staff training.

maintaining our fleet

Over 2,600 students are transported safely and efficiently by the Wayne Township Public Schools every school day. In addition, the district also provides transportation for field trips, sports teams, and to students attending private schools for the disabled. Maintaining a fleet of 85 vehicles is not an easy task and the district replaces vehicles annually based on mandated school bus retirement age or excessive repair costs. The budget includes funding for the lease of three large buses (54 passengers) and four mini buses (25 passengers). The total amount to be funded through leasing is $538,000.


The total tax increase is $2,793,480 and this represents an increase of 1.95% over the prior year tax levy. Note that the budget does not include the use of any waivers or banked cap and it falls within the 2% tax levy cap.

The following table illustrates the impact that the school budget will have on your property tax bill based on the assessed valuation of your property. Currently, $229,044 is the average assessed property value in Wayne. Keep in mind that there is often a significant difference between the assessed value and market value of your property. The table below does not reflect market value due to the fact that market value is not used when tax bills are calculated.


There is no increase in state aid. At this point, the ongoing failure to fund New Jersey's legal school funding formula has had a major impact on all New Jersey taxpayers. According to the Education Law Center, the Wayne Township Public Schools would have received nearly $28,000,000 in additional state funding had the formula been utilized over time.


May 4, 2017-Required Public Hearing and Adoption of 2017-2018 Final Budget

7:30 PM

Council Chambers

additional resources

Please visit our district website for additional budget information. The user friendly budget is a great source of additional information.


  1. Q: What does the term "banked cap" mean? A: Banked cap is a term that refers to unused spending authority from prior budget years. This term has nothing to do with money in the bank. The use of banked cap allows the district to spend over the two percent cap due to prior years of spending under the two percent cap. Even with the use of banked cap, the district still must stay under the two percent cap over time, but it gains some flexibility over when to exercise spending authority. This year, there is no banked cap available for the district to use.
  2. Q: During a board meeting there was discussion about a $2,500,000 reduction in spending for special education. What was cut out of the special education budget? A: The comments were not made in reference to any actual cuts presented to the Board of Education. Instead, the comments were related to reduction that were made from the earliest stages of the budget development process. Typical reductions made during the budget process occur for a number of reasons including math errors, duplications, and changes in identified needs. In fact, the budget for special education instructional programs has increased dramatically over the past five years. If you compare, the 2013-2014 budget for special education instructional programs was $9,693,398. The proposed budget for 2017-2018 includes $12,555,271 for special education instructional programs. This is an increase of nearly $3,000,000 when compared to the 2014-2015 budget and an increase of approximately $750,000 over the 2016-2017 budget.
  3. Q: Why is the district investing so much money in science programs? A: The New Jersey Department of Education adopted the Next Generations Science Standards. This requires a significant change in district practices and it also requires the district to provide teaching and learning materials aligned with the new standards. Competition is also compelling change our district to change. The Passaic County Technical Institute is building a new STEM academy. Our district needs to be able to compete with the PCTI educational programs, facilities, and resources that will be available when the new program opens.
  4. Q: What is being done to save money? A: There is an ongoing effort in the district to save money and a variety of strategies are used to achieve this important goal. One visible sign of savings includes energy efficiency achieved with the numerous solar panel systems installed throughout the district. Other visible examples include ongoing efforts to install energy efficient lighting. The purchase of energy efficient boilers is another important step in achieving savings and reducing our environmental blueprint. The district also developed an in-house professional development program that dramatically reduced the cost of professional development. Shared service agreements also save money. Currently, the district partners with the municipality for printing services, facilities, resource officers, tree trimming, and security. Finally, the district is a member of purchasing co-ops.
  5. Q: Will this budget have any impact on class sizes for my children? A: One critical part of the budget development process includes an analysis of class sizes at each school. The current budget allows the district to maintain the reasonable class sizes that parents have come to expect for their children and within the existing class size guidelines.
  6. Q: Are tax dollars being spent in a way that leads to positive growth for students? A: Yes, the district has been focused on providing excellent educational opportunities for all students. Our students have been extremely successful in the college admissions process. Our end-of-year newsletter (click here) highlights the achievements of our seniors and provides readers with some sense of the opportunities that exist for students graduating from the Wayne Township Public Schools.
  7. Q: Can any changes be made to the budget? A: Yes, the budget can be modified. At this point, the district has permission to advertise a preliminary budget that was submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education on March 17th. There are many reasons why the budget might change before the final adoption.
  8. Q: I read about the problem with turf fields throughout the state deteriorating at a rapid rate. Are new turf fields part of the budget? A: New turf fields are not in the budget because the district has not experienced the same rate of deterioration. The fields have undergone extensive testing to verify their safety. However, the district will need to work with the municipality to determine how to move forward with a field replacement project in the next few years.
  9. Q: What impact does the new K-Wrap program have on the budget? A: Even though the K-Wrap program is likely to serve nearly 200 children in the 2017-2018 school year, there will be no impact on the budget because it is funded through an enterprise fund, which means it is treated as a business activity outside of the budget.
  10. Q: Why is the district spending so much money on technology? A: The development of the internet and easy-to-use search engines have made computers incredibly powerful learning tools. All school districts recognize the powerful benefits of deploying computers in the classroom. Spending on technology is one way the district supports students as they prepare for college and careers of the future. Today, there are few workplaces that are not reliant on technology and employees with computer skills. Likewise, there are few, if any colleges and universities where technology is not an important part of instruction. The immediate benefit for the Wayne Township Public Schools is the ability for teachers to engage students in their learning and to customize instruction that meets individual learning needs. Technology can bring students together as they collaborate with one another using computers. Chromebooks are low cost devices that utilize free software and resources that are already in heavy use throughout the district.


If you are unable to attend a meeting, but you have a question, residents are encouraged to submit budget questions to:


We will respond to your questions at the May 4, 2017 meeting.

Created By
Mark Toback


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