Proposed Vineland school budget cuts jobs, after school programs - NBC40.net

Proposed Vineland school budget cuts jobs, after school programs

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VINELAND -

The Board of Education in Vineland has approved a new 'budget draft' that calls for personnel cuts and reduced funding for after school programs.

"That's not giving students really a chance."  Sylvia Melendez is just one person that is upset that her grand kids may not get the experiences she had when she was in school.  Melendez added, "They need art and music, of course they do, its part of culture."

But music funding is just one thing that could be cut because of the New Jersey state requirements that have forced the Vineland Board of Education to make some changes to their yearly budget.

Olga Rosapo, a parent of a student in the Vineland public school system, explained, "I think the parents are going to be concerned about these budget cuts because they're taking it away from the kids."

On Thursday, the district was forced to submit a balanced budget of $198.8 million dollars to the Cumberland County Superintendent's office, which included $3.2 million dollars in tentative budget cuts for the year.

Melendez said, "It's terrible.  It's terrible enough as it is now, and for them to keep cutting back like that."

Vineland public school officials released a statement saying, "The budget published on the web site is a preliminary document and we will not be able to comment on specific line items that will be under discussion by the full board until after the public hearing on March 26th.

The cuts include 12 teaching positions, 4 of them being music teachers, 8 coaches, and 5 cafeteria aids from the school's budget.

Students say they aren't happy with the proposed cuts.  Vineland High School student Gina Platt said, "I probably have four or five music classes right now and the teachers are dearly beloved to me and I would be really upset if anybody lost their job for anything like that."

Although Vineland Board of Education members are still working out the tentative budget cuts, parents and family members of students in the district say they are concerned.

Melendez said, "I'm very concerned.  My grandson likes music, that's what he wants to do when he graduates - that's what he wants to get involved in.  So, you know, it's part of education.  It's part of their culture."

Officials say the current budget draft will likely be revised before the March 26th deadline.

Vineland Board of Education members say they have also considered a 2% tax increase as an alternative way of meeting the budget requirements.

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