Jennifer Scuteri Won the Hamilton Selectman’s Race

Jen received 805 votes. Paul Ricker tallied in at 791 votes, and Tony Celata received 231 votes.

The Capital Debt Exclusion Failed at Hamilton Town Meeting

The CDE passed at Wenham Town Meeting but failed by only 20 votes at Hamilton Town Meeting. (62% of Hamilton voters at Town Meeting approved the CDE.) However, the health and safety issues at our schools are not going away. The Accreditation Committee is still requiring that the High School make repairs. But we may have missed the opportunity to finance these repairs at today’s favorable interest rates. Stay tuned.

What Will Our Schools Look Like Next Year?

The School Committee took drastic steps to manage its budget this year and kept the budget increase to only 1.5%, despite the pressure of unfunded special education mandates, decreasing state aid and contractual union obligations. The towns’ contribution to the schools was less than it could have been under the levy limit.

  • Our schools are cutting the equivalent of 7.4 full-time classroom teachers.
  • The Middle School and High School will share a principal.
  • The schools are also cutting additional positions, such as teaching assistants, psychologists, and clerical positions.
  • The schools have reduced hours for the Athletic Director, the Curriculum Director and the SPED Out-of-District Coordinator.
  • The High School remains on “warning” status for accreditation. The Accreditation Committee has required the High School to file a “Special Report” this August showing that our schools have made progress on the Committee’s concerns. Without the passage of the CDE and given the current state of the budget, it will be difficult to demonstrate progress by August.
  • Our teachers and staff will be taking a “give-back” day, working one day without salary.

You should also know that …

The Massachusetts legislature is also considering further reductions in state aid for education. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

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