Here is detail on Support Our Schools’ “fair share” position on the appropriations of Hamilton and Wenham to the FY 2010 budget for the Hamilton Wenham Regional School District. The calculation below is based on principles explained in the Notes, which follow.

Support Our Schools "Fair Share" Position

Fair Share FY 2011 School Budget Calculation
FY 2010 Net School Budget $22,583,695 This is the net school budget for FY 2010. The net school budget equals the total school budget less non-town revenue sources, including Chapter 70, state aid for transportation, school choice, etc.
2.5% Increase $564,592   This proposed increase reflects the power of voters at Town Meeting to increase the levy limit by 2.5%
New Growth $112,918   Town Meeting voters also hold the power to increase the levy limit by the amount of new growth during the prior fiscal year.  We understand that the new growth during FY 2010 has been approximately 0.5% in both towns
Proposed FY 2011 Net School Budget $23,261,206  


  1. Because we are using the FY 2010 net school budget as a starting point, the calculation is performed without respect to Chapter 70 or any other non-town funding source. So, if those amounts decrease, the school budget must absorb those decreases. This means that, even with a fair share appropriation, the actual FY 2011 school budget will likely increase by less than 3% since the increase in the appropriations from the towns will be offset by decreases in other revenue sources. For example, in FY 2010, the actual school budget increased by 1.5% from FY 2009 although the town appropriations increased by 2%.
  2. The proposed FY 2011 net school budget would be allocated between Hamilton and Wenham in accordance with the percentages calculated under the Regional Agreement.  We understand that there has been a further shift of enrollment to Wenham which, under the regional agreement, will increase Wenham’s share by approximately 0.5%.  We understand that for FY 2011, Wenham’s share will be 32.68% up from 32.15% in FY 2010. We intend to explain to voters how the share shift will increase Wenham’s appropriation to above a 3% increase, but how that is necessary to maintain a total town appropriation increase of 3%. Wenham has long been aware of the coming enrollment increase, which reflects past real estate development that increased the Wenham tax base. Also, for every dollar less that Wenham appropriates, Hamilton’s appropriation will decrease by $2, so it is not appropriate to allow the share shift to force down the appropriation to the schools in both towns, as occurred in FY 2010. Wenham needs to finance the share shift through cash reserves if the levy limit increase is not sufficient to fully fund Wenham’s fair share in FY 2011.
  3. Revenue decreases or increases expected to be experienced by the towns in FY 2011 should not be considered in calculating the overall net school budget increase. These revenues include Cherry Sheet funding from the state and local receipts. As with the Chapter 70 funding (see Note 1), these amounts should be excluded from the calculation of a fair share apportionment to the schools.

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