Update from the School Committee 4/26/23
Posted on: April 26, 2023 - 6:17pm
Prior to April vacation, we shared information regarding our annual school department budget and our planning process for the next school year. Since that time, there are some updates that we want to share with you. We’ve tried to make this email short and direct in an effort to respect your time. Below the email signature, you will find links to additional resources if you want to learn more about the specific challenges facing the school department budget.
Current Hanover School Department Budget Status
- Due to increases in unanticipated non-discretionary student service needs and service cost increases, we are closing out the 2022-2023 (FY23) school year with a budget deficit. We expect these increased expenses will carry forward into the 2023-2024 school year (FY24), thus creating a funding gap between the projected FY24 Town operating budget and the needs of HPS. Working with the Select Board and Advisory Committee, we have sought to address both of these issues through two additional Town Meeting articles.
- The Select Board has approved two additional Town Meeting articles regarding school finance, and the Advisory Committee voted unanimously to support these requests as well.
- The Special Town Meeting Article provides $650,000 to close the FY23 budget deficit.
- The Annual Town Meeting Article seeks to increase the amount of funding for the Special Education Reserve Account to an amount up to $750,000 in FY24.
- Short-Term: Attend Town Meeting on May 1st. At town meeting, our Special Education Reserve Funding Article, along with the FY24 operating budget, will be put to voters for approval. Your participation at Town Meeting is important, and we are looking forward to seeing you there!
- Long-Term: Continue to support an educationally sound budget for our schools. While the increase in special education reserve is a conservative method of funding unanticipated special education costs, it does not provide a sustainable source of funding for operational needs. As we plan for FY25, the School Department will need a strategic budgeting plan with sustainable funding to maintain the level of academic programming and student services that we all expect and require to continuously improve. We look forward to sharing our long-term strategic goals and funding requirements to support those goals when we start the FY25 budget process in the fall of 2023.
As always, please reach out to members of the School Committee or the Superintendent if you would like to discuss anything budget related. Thank you for all you do to help support the Hanover schools, students, and staff!
The Hanover School Committee