Joint Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Appropriations Committee Meeting rescheduled for Thurs Feb 11 at 7:00 pm

Hopkinton Board of Selectmen Meeting, Tuesday February 9th, 2010 :
The Town Manager was unable to come to last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting due to a sudden illness. Because of this the Board had to postpone the budget discussion portion of the meeting. This joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Appropriations Committee has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room (Room 211) Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend and the meeting will also be televised on HCAM-TV (Comcast channel 8/Verizon channel 30).

In addition, the Town Manager’s reports to the Board of Selectmen regarding a Permanent Building Committee and the Hopkinton Public Library will be continued to another date (TBA).

The Next Step in the Budget Process
By March 15, the Board of Selectmen will either adopt or amend the Town Manager’s budget, and submit to the Appropriation Committee.

School Committee Preliminary Budget Now Posted, and Town Budget Presentation on Tuesday

On January 28th, the School Committee held a Public Hearing, followed by a Working Session to create the “School Committee Preliminary Budget”. During the Public Hearing portion of the meeting, parents stated their concerns about large class sizes in the elementary grades, and potential cuts to the sports and music programs. In the Working Session, the School Committee considered these concerns, and others, as they reviewed the Superintendent’s two budget scenarios and created a new “School Committee Preliminary Budget” which was submitted to the Town Manager last week. You may read the summary online at:

The School Committee’s budget starts with the Superintendent’s Budget, then eliminates several items, and adds two items. The total reflects a reduction of $638,570 from the Superintendent’s Budget and represents a 0.5% increase from last year’s school budget. This chart is taken directly from their budget document:

Budget Area Amount
Reduction in the salary reserve account – $212,158
Reduction in 2.2 special education teachers/therapists – $151,314
Additional use of year-end balances – $93,440
Additional revenue offset from full-day kindergarten – $75,000
Reduction of 6 copiers from the districts copier replacement cycle – $66,000
Reduction of 2.7 pre-kindergarten teaching assistants – $63,542
Savings from recent teacher retirements – $39,843
Reduction in special education tuitions to reflect new state rates – $23,990
Elimination of late busses – $22,992
Other expense budget adjustments – $18,731
Addition of 4 remedial math tutors + $93,440
Reinstatement of 4 freshmen athletic teams + $35,000
Total -$638,570

Variables in the Budget:

Teacher Salaries: The School committee and administration are just beginning negotiation with the teacher’s union. Last year teachers got a 3% raise (previously negotiated in a 3-year contract) while non-union school and town employees got a 1.5% raise. No agreement has been reached as of yet.
Fees: The other variable is fees to parents (bus, parking, athletics, clubs, etc.). This is only a preliminary budget, so the school committee has the option to consider adding or increasing fees next year, which would reduce the amount needed from the town budget.
If you have a question or comment regarding teacher salaries or fees to parents, you should feel free to contact the School Committee at any time.
State Aid:  The state is also beginning its budget process, so the amount of local aid, chapter 70 monies, and Circuit Breaker Special Education Reimbursements from the state are all still in flux.
Hopkinton Proposition 2 1/2% taxes: The Selectmen have not yet made a determination of what portion, if any, of the allowable 2 1/2% increase to local taxes will be levied next year.

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

The Next Steps in the Budget Process
On Tuesday, February 9, Town Manager Norman Khumalo will present his recommended budget to a joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Appropriations Committee. The public comment period for this meeting begins at 6:30 pm. Residents may attend in person or watch on HCAM-TV (Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30). Residents should also feel free to contact the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager at any time with budget questions or concerns.

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

Town Manager:
Norman Khumalo: