A familiar attack on Reform management of Hoboken District schools is the current $5M budget surplus.
The criticism, driven by a Texan crapademic and his anonymous online identities, is that this surplus can be zeroed out for a certain charter school expansion.
Moreover, critics pretend the surplus is a Reform anomaly; 'found money' to be tapped like a beer keg.
Folks, you can put that one in the "fake news" trash heap.
A peek at 'Old Guard' BoE budget surplus(es) from 2006-2009 (before Reform took control) back when HoLa Trustee Frank Raia, Carmelo Garcia and Anthony Romano were the voting majority, and HoLa's Anthony Petrosino was employed full-time as Assistant Superintendent (and taught a class in Austin, Texas!) raises questions.
Take a look:
Why did they maintain such low Capital Reserves- $1,000?
"Capital reserve account" means the account established by a district board of education pursuantto N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-31 and 18A:7F-41 into which monies are deposited to help finance a school district’s local share of its long-range facilities plan.Why did they maintain "0" balance in the Maintenance Reserve?
"6A:23A-14.2 Maintenance reserve(a) A district board of education shall establish, by resolution, a maintenance reserve account to be used to implement required maintenance of the school district’s facilities. Thedistrict board of education is prohibited from using such funds for routine or capital maintenance."Why did they keep an astronomical balance in the Legal Reserve?????
"Each district board of education shall, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:4-14, maintain legalreserves as defined at N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-1.2 and published by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board..."
So, why did the Raia-Garcia-Petrosino coalition STARVE the capital reserve and maintenance reserve and STUFF the legal reserve?
The calculation of these surpluses is complicated and interdependent on many factors, complex and amounts change from year to year, and there are rules for transferring money in and out of reserves- GA is no expert. But, it is reasonable to ask t he intent and purpose of keeping ZERO reserves for maintenance, almost non for capital projects, and a boated legal reserve.
For the record, here are the surplus amounts from the Hoboken District's 2016-2017 User Friendly budget. As you can see, the allocation of reserve funds to capital projects and maintenance of aging infrastructure, is responsible.