The State Board of Education today approved $50,000 in emergency state aid to help the Deerfield Township Board of Education defray the cost of eliminating mold contamination that resulted in a shutdown of the Deerfield Elementary School last fall.
In order to receive the aid, Deerfield successfully passed a rigid approval process, which included a detailed accounting of how emergency aid will be spent and documentation that the district could not reallocate sufficient funds from other portions of the its budget.
Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr., noted that Gloucester County Superintendent of Schools Sandra Loewe had reviewed Deerfields request before recommending that the district receive emergency aid.
"The Deerfield Township Board of Education was unable to foresee substantial additional costs related to mold contamination at the Deerfield Elementary School," Commissioner Gagliardi said. "The emergency aid will be used to fund numerous line items in the current budget that might otherwise be in deficit due to the fact that funds were previously transferred to cover the unexpected costs."
Due to the severity of the mold contamination, the Deerfield Board of Education was forced to move students and staff to facilities in neighboring Millville and to the Cumberland County Vocational School. The district will be able to add the emergency aid to more than $31,000 in budget surplus funds to cover the clean-up and transportation costs.