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April 22, 2010

Re:      Recap of Webinar Defeated School Budgets Resources

Dear Mayor:

Earlier today, we held an informative conference call with the New Jersey School Boards Association on how to handle defeated school budgets.  During the conference call, Department of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler noted that while governing bodies are scrutinizing each line item to identify specific budget cuts, they need to be sensitive to the obligation to provide a thorough education for all school age children.  Commissioner Schundler also encouraged municipalities to reach out to their school union leadership to discuss the possibility of opening contracts for changes that could lead to budget savings and possible state aid increases.  Finally, Commissioner Schundler stated that DOE will only grant school board applications to restore levy reductions, when those reductions would prevent the district from providing children with a thorough education.

see caption below
(l to r) Michael Kaelber, NJSBA Director of Legal & Policy Services, Marie S. Bilik, NJSBA Executive Director
Bret Schundler, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Alan Guenther, NDDOE Director of Public Information
John F. Donahue, Executive Director, New Jersey Association of School Business Officials

Also participating on the conference call was Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas and South Brunswick Chief Financial Officer Joseph Monzo.  Both Mayor Lucas and Mr. Monzo noted that communication is essential to the process.  Mayor Lucas noted that for municipalities in a regional district it is important to keep in mind what is best for the whole of the district.

You can listen to the recorded conference call at  You can also join NJSBA’s Facebook discussion page on defeated school budgets at

In addition, the Department of Education has posted the following documents regarding a defeated budget review to their website:

2010-11 Budget Statement: Defeated Budget Information

If you have questions contact Lori Buckelew at 609-695-3481 ext 112 or

Very Truly Yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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