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Budget Season Is Almost Here

by on January 9, 2016

I am gratified at the interest that residents are showing in the budget process this year.  Normally we go through the process with little interest, voter turnout is low and unless there is an occasional surprise, there is very little attention.

I’d like to present some perspective in the numbers that aren’t normally thought about until at some point down the road, folks realize that per pupil spending has doubled and wonder how can that be, when the budgets have only gone up between 1% and 2%, and some have even dropped.

I did a quick calculation of the numbers based on student population with the two budgets that are available on the Superintendent’s website:  http://www.newhtfd.org/domain/4.

Please go to that site and download and review those budgets and prepare yourself for the groups of meetings that are to follow.   We will be voting on those budgets in May and their preparation begins shortly.  The public is always invited to a budget preparation session, so watch for that.

While enrollment in the years from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 (3 years) has dropped 76 students, per pupil spending in the elementary schools alone has gone up 17%.  Elementary School Comparison

When population is dropping any increase at all can become significant.  The Board of Education and the Finance Board are looking at the same numbers.   The kindergarten class this year is 55 students; 6th grade is 81.  Those 6th graders will move on to Regional 7 next year.

I want to hear better reasons for keeping Bakerville School open than changing the character of the town, or destroying education for our children, or class sizes becoming unreasonable high, or it will only save a few bucks, because none of that is true.

Our town boards and officials are trying to keep our taxes reasonable so that struggling families in town don’t become so strapped by town expenses that they have to move, and they do a really good job.

The Board of Education will meet Tuesday, January 19 Ann Antolini School and is usually at 7:00 pm.    Bakerville School will almost certainly be discussed.   You can keep up with meetings scheduled, any time changes or cancellations and see agenda once posted at http://www.newhtfd.org/domain/5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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