Come to the Annual Town Meeting at the Clune Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 to support the school budget. Now is the time to show up, vote ‘Yes’ to the school budget, and ensure that any further cuts are soundly defeated.
The school budget is a monetary expression of the district’s educational priorities and values. It reflects the considered judgment of both the Superintendent and the Board of Education (BOE) about how best to organize programs and resources to maintain excellence at a great value. (The BOE budget presentation to the Board of Finance (BOF) is available online.) This year — like in years past — the BOE unanimously approved the school budget.
Despite the BOE’s recommendation, the BOF, by a vote of 4-2, cut $1.4 million dollars from the BOE budget for next year. Because of this cut, we are now facing hard choices about staffing and service levels. Programs are carefully built over the years based on the best research and recommendation from our Superintendent and professional staff, with each part contributing to overall quality. Services and programs will be compromised next year (reduction proposals can be found online). The compounding effect of year-over-year reductions leads to system degradation.
The urgency to defend the schools and support the budget is real. While the town cannot vote to reinstate the full BOE budget at the town meeting, we can defend the schools and prevent further cuts. And further cuts are still possible; any participant at the meeting can ask to further decrease the BOE budget. If a majority of those present agree, then the budget will be cut, on the spot.
It’s now up to the voters to support the schools and defend the school budget. The BOF has already slashed $1.4 million from the BOE budget; don’t let a small group at the town meeting do the same. Come to the Annual Town Meeting, vote ‘Yes’ on the budget, and prevent any further cuts. I hope to see you all there.
“The BOF has already slashed $1.4 million from the BOE budget”. Can this be clarified? I thought $1.4 million was cut from the proposed increase of the school budget over last year. Was the school budget actually cut?
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