Between now and March 31, the School Committee will be building next year’s school budget.

Our school district and community are confronting agonizing decisions in the face of a sharp reduction of state aid, our limited commercial and town revenue, and the escalating costs of healthcare, unfunded special education mandates, and contractual union obligations. Everyone is keenly aware of the economic hardship that many in our community are facing during this severe recession.

Please attend the School Committee meetings listed below. From these meetings, the School Committee will be making decisions that will affect the future of our students for years to come. Now is the time to make your opinion known.

As background, you can visit the School District website (www.hwschools.net) to read the School Committee’s FY10 Budget Assumptions PowerPoint presentation. Keep an eye out for the school district’s Annual Report, which is due to be mailed to residents shortly.

The School committee meetings are all on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at the Buker Multi-Purpose room. At the end of the meetings there will be an opportunity for those who wish to ask questions and make comments.

Mark your calendars:

January 15 – Presentation of the SPED (Special Education) Budget, Curriculum &Technology Budgets, Capital and Maintenance

January 22 – Principal’s Budgets, School Choice and User Fees

March 5 – Preliminary FY10 Budget Presented to the Hamilton and Wenham Finance committees

March 12 – Discuss FY10 Budget Options, gauge community support, and determine override

March 24 – Public hearing

March 31 – Budget voted

Meetings can also be viewed on the local cable Channel 10.  But please don’t sit this one out: come join us in protecting our schools which we have worked so hard to preserve.

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