Hillsdale School Board Approves $28.9 Million Budget, Eyes Infrastructure Upgrades

In a recent Hillsdale Board of Education meeting held on April 24, 2023, several significant administrative, financial, and educational decisions were made, shaping the course of the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. The board, under the stewardship of Chair Nicole Klas, approved a school budget totaling $28.9 million, passed resolutions to honor the contributions of teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, and outlined future infrastructure enhancements to bolster the school environment.

The budget proposal for the 2023-2024 school year, led by Superintendent Robert Lombardy Jr., Business Administrator and Board Secretary Sacha Pouliot, and Board President Nicole Klas, was a central focus of the meeting. The budget encompasses general expenses of approximately $27.4 million, capital outlay of $677,541, special revenues of $482,994, and a debt service of $372,300, totaling $28,973,859. In turn, the Finance Committee approved a General Fund tax levy of $23,622,327 and a Debt Service tax levy of $372,300.

The School Board, through the Education Committee, paid homage to the teachers’ commitment and service, particularly emphasizing their pivotal role in shaping the future of their students. As part of the tribute, the Board passed a resolution in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, reflecting the profound gratitude of the community towards its educators.

Within the academic realm, several key decisions were taken. Notably, the board approved a series of modifications to the 2022-2023 school year calendar, setting the graduation date as June 16, 2023. Additionally, they approved the inclusion of Karen Drees as a home instructor and initiated the process for an English/Language Arts and Math Learning Acceleration program, although further details were not disclosed.

The personnel department experienced various shifts as well, including leaves of absence for several employees due to personal illness, disability, or maternity. Furthermore, the Board rescinded the resignation of Employee #4774, granting an unpaid leave from March 13, 2023, through June 16, 2023. The Board notably extended a helping hand to Employee ID #4718 by providing thirty-four sick bank days during a personal illness-related disability leave.

The meeting also addressed infrastructure and facility upgrades, ratifying a Mold and Moisture Prevention Plan, and approving a project to replace existing windows with new dual-glazed thermally broken ones. The Board sanctioned a purchase order for a 2023 pickup truck, allocated for district maintenance, at a cost not to exceed $53,146.

In an apparent nod to inclusivity and community engagement, the Board greenlit multiple applications from various groups and organizations for the use of school facilities for a range of community activities. These include an annual Easter Egg Hunt, tennis and golf events, a Memorial Day celebration, and a movie night.

On the financial front, the Board approved several reports and set a maximum amount for travel and related expenses for the 2023-2024 school year at $35,175.

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