Town and School Budget Season is in Full Swing. Four School Committee Budget Working Sessions this month.

Town and School Budget Season is in Full Swing. Four School Committee Budget Working Sessions this month.

Despite the business of the holidays, all Town Departments were working to submit their 2010-11 budgets to the Town Manager by December 31st. There are many updates for you to be aware of. As you may know, all departments were asked to submit budgets based on a 2.65% reduction of the amount of their 2009-10 budgets.

At the request of the School Committee, Superintendent Phelan presented two budget scenarios to the School Committee on December 17, 2009: The “Superintendent’s Budget” scenario represents an increase of $807,859 over the FY 10 budget, and keeps services as close to those offered in FY10 as possible. The “(2.65%) Budget” scenario reduces the FY10 budget amount by $854,617. The difference between the two budget scenarios presented is $1,662,476.

According to Dr Phelan’s presentation, the (2.65%) Budget will result in the following scenario:

  • Class Sizes would increase. At the elementary levels, the increase could be by 2 to 3 students per class:
Gr. 1
Gr. 2
Gr. 3
Gr. 4
Gr. 5
Gr. 6
Gr. 7
Gr. 8
2009-10 students per class
Projected 2010-11 students per class

  • The percentage of High School core classes with over 25 students per class would rise from 18% to 22%.
  • The 5th grade instrumental music program would be cut.
  • The Middle School related arts program would be reduced.
  • High School Guidance staff would be reduced.
  • 4 Freshman athletic teams and 1 MS athletic team would be reduced.
  • Late buses would be eliminated at Hopkins, Middle and High Schools.
  • 13.4 Teachers would need to be laid off: 9.8 Regular Education and 3.6 Special Education Teachers

Dr. Phelan’s Presentation also detailed cost savings, revenue enhancements, and staffing changes over the past five years:

  • The schools have seen a total reduction in staff of 34.7. During those years, student enrollment has only dropped by 8.
  • The school district has generated $8.8 million in revenue enhancements through grants, fees, gifts and other proactive measures. Of that amount, $3.3 million has come from athletic, transportation, and community use fees.
  • The school district has realized $5.1 million in cost savings and efficiencies, including improving in-district Special Education programs; technology and administrative reorganizations; cooperative purchasing through professional collaboratives; and green initiatives. 

To view the PowerPoint presentation in its entirety click here:
(Works best in Internet Explorer)

The best way to stay informed on this important matter so that you can be a part of the decision making is to attend the next four School Committee meetings in January in which the Committee will review and ask questions about both the Superintendent’s Budget and the (2.65)% Budget by department.

  • Thurs Jan 7 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss High School, Middle School and Athletics Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 14 at 7:30pm – Working Session to discuss Special Education, Buildings and Grounds and Central Office Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 21 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss Elementary Schools and Technology Budgets
  • Thurs Jan 28 at 7:00pm – Public Hearing on the 2010-11 Budget and Working Session

Please note the public hearing and budget “working session” portions of all the meetings above are NOT televised, but are open to the public. The meetings are held in the Middle School Library.

If you wish to voice your opinion on any matter, please attend the meeting in person, and/or email the School Committee and Board of Selectmen directly.

School Committee:
Nancy Burdick:
Rebecca Robak:
Richard Demont:
Jean Bertschmann:
Troy Mick:

Board of Selectmen:
Brian Herr:
Matt Zettek:
RJ Dourney:
Todd Cestari:
Michele Gates:

Town Manager:
Norman Khumalo: