On March 31 the School Committee voted the budget for FY’09. The $1,889,589 Override (Hamilton’s share is $1,288,322 and Wenham’s share is $601,267) simply preserves level services — meaning the services the Districted provided last year. With a few small and necessary exceptions, it does not rebuild any programs that we have lost during the past several years of budget cuts.

The effect of a failed override has serious consequences:

  • 27.7 Full time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions will be cut, for a grand total of 102.8 FTEs since 2002. This has included secretaries, administrators, custodians, and nurses, although the majority have been teachers.
  • Class size—which already exceeds our school district’s policy—will grow at every level. Class size will increase to as many as 25 students a class in the elementary school, 28-30 students a class in the middle school. At the high school, class size will increase by 6 to 8 students in most A1, Honors and AP classes.
  • 45 elementary school students from Cutler and Winthrop will be redistricted:
    • 13 students in Grade 2 will move from Winthrop to Buker and Cutler
    • 9 students in Grade 3 will move from Cutler to Buker and Winthrop
    • 14 students in Grade 4 will move from Winthrop to Buker and Cutler
    • 9 students in Grade 5 will move from Cutler to Buker and Winthrop
  • The Language Arts support program in the elementary school will be virtually eliminated, putting our youngest readers and struggling readers at risk.
  • The Middle School team structure will be eliminated entirely. Why are Middle School Teams important? According to the National Middle School Association’s Report of the Task Force of Education of Young Adolescents, Middle School teams:
    • Increase learning as measured by test scores
    • Offer emotional guidance during turbulent adolescent years
    • Make students less likely to fail, academically and socially
  • The High School will not be able to address the first level of NEASC citations, putting the high school at risk for further citations and a “warning” status in its accreditation process. 52 academic sections will be cut, and the majority of students will not be fully scheduled. English, math, science, PE, and foreign language teachers will be cut, a total of 10.2 teachers.

FY 09 Budget Information

FY 09 SC Approved Budget, March 31, 2008
FY 09 SC Approved Override, March 31, 2008
FY 09 Article 2 and Override Summary, March 31, 2008
FY 09 Elementary Redistricting Slide, March 31, 2008
FY 09 Approved Budget Summary Brief, March 31, 2008
SC Forum: January 24, 2008 – FY 09 Level Services Budget & Strategic Plan Recommendations

What will this override cost?

The override will cost less than a daily cup of coffee. The tax impact is the same in both towns this year.

In Hamilton and Wenham: The owner of a median priced home would pay $393 a year, which translates to $32.75 a month or $1.07 a day.

Coffee at Dunkin Donuts: A small regular coffee costs $1.50.

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