HUUSD - COVID budget re-vote next week
Our community’s first COVID election will take place, as the HUUSD Board asks the members of our six-town district to approve the budget for the 2020-21 school year. Voters are strongly encouraged to call or email their town offices to request an absentee ballot, although in-person voting will take place in each town on June 16. Absentee ballots are mailed to voters and must be returned to town clerks by the day of the election -- whether by mail or dropped off. For in-person voting, polling hours and locations have shifted in some towns; all towns will set up structures designed to minimize person-to-person contact.
The proposed budget, for $39,751,941, is $20,000 less than that presented at Town Meeting Day. This budget, however, is based on a series of both temporary and long-term cuts to our current configuration; there would be no changes to grades or location of students in schools for the next school year. This proposed budget represents an increase in total expenditures of 3% -- while the average is nearly 5% across the state. One-third of this increase is driven solely by the 13% increase in the cost of employee health insurance.
Revenues will also increase next year to offset some expenditures. The actual cost to taxpayers (made up of “Education Spending”) would show a $100,000 reduction from this past year. In very recent news, the legislature’s recently-approved “yield” -- a part of the state’s complicated funding formula -- means some towns will see a property tax reduction while there will be a slight increase for others, an average of just under 2% across the district’s six towns.
The school board has put together extensive information for voters to review and consider, including more about the costs in the budget, the decision-making process, the election, and how to get in touch with town clerks. Click here to find out more or copy this URL in your browser: https://tinyurl.com/y7ffmp75
We urge all voters to call their town clerks today and ask for an absentee ballot (it’s not too late) or to participate in in-person voting on Tuesday, June 16th. Please encourage your neighbors to do the same.