School Committee Votes Its 2012 Budget

Thursday, April 7, 7 p.m.
Buker Multipurpose Room

Tomorrow is an important school committee meeting that school supporters will want to follow closely.

In addition to discussing its plans to address the most critical parts of the Operational Audit, the committee will vote its fiscal year 2012 budget.

Serious concerns have cropped up late in the process. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Early in the year, the towns asked the schools to build a budget that included no increase in the amount that Hamilton and Wenham contribute to the district. So, a 0% increase to the towns.
  • The new administration managed to build a budget that included a 0% increase to the towns, an historic first.
  • Unhappy that school costs would still be going up, even if the costs to the towns remained at 0%, the towns decided they wanted to contribute even less — so, less than zero.
  • The administration came up with a second budget that includes a decrease in the contribution from the towns.
  • But some people believe this less-than-zero budget puts the schools in significant fiscal danger for 2013 — or even sooner, if an unexpected event happens in 2012.
  • With those concerns unresolved, the school committee last week put off its final budget vote.
  • Tomorrow night they plan to vote, 7 p.m. at the Buker Multipurpose room. Please come and make your thoughts known about the financial security of our schools for next year, 2013 and beyond.

(p.s. For a primer on how the school budget gets approved at Town Meeting — by voters like you! — click here.)

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