Confused over how the process works? You’re not alone!
Here’s a primer on how the HWRSD budget gets approved by YOU, the voters

  1. If the school committee’s budget receives a majority of votes at both towns’ Town Meetings, it passes, and we have a school budget for fiscal year 2012.
  2. If the school committee’s budget does not receive a majority of votes at either the Hamilton or the WenhamTown Meeting, we don’t have a school budget.  The school committee then has to reconvene and decide if they want to change their budget.  This second school committee budget (budget #2) must be re-submitted to voters at a second Town Meeting in both Hamilton and Wenham.  If budget #2 receives a majority of votes in both towns, it passes, and we have a school budget for FY 2012.
  3. If the school committee budget #2 doesn’t receive a majority of votes in either town, we have a districtwide vote on either budget #2 or a third budget proposed by the school committee. If you lived in town in 2003, you may remember being asked to go to the High School gym in August for this very reason.
  4. Once a school committee budget gets a majority of votes in both towns (on the first, second or third try), then each town must fund its portion of the budget that the voters approved.
  5. For fiscal year 2012, both towns have adequate resources in their budgets to fund the amount expected to be in the school committee’s budget without an override. In years when this is not the case — when the schools’ allocation, combined with other town departmental requirements, puts a town budget over the levy limit of 2.5% percent — then Town Meeting must approve an override to submit to a ballot vote.

One Response to “Town Meeting and the School Budget”

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