We encourage all voters to request school district ballots if they haven’t already, or to vote in person on Town Meeting Day, March 2.
The FY2022 budget, proposed for $40,390,158, includes no changes in programming or grade configurations in the HUUSD buildings. It does include increases for special education and nursing. Funding has been added for a new District Human Resources professional, legal expenses, a Superintendent search, and architectural services for the anticipated Harwood bond. Professional development monies have also been restored. Despite these line item increases, the Board has been able to offset some of the budget expense by using surplus funds from FY 2020 to limit an increase in education spending. Total expenditures represent an increase of 1.6% over the current fiscal year.
The Board continues to advocate for the upkeep and building maintenance needs of our seven campuses, and is asking voters to approve an article devoting $1 million in surplus towards the District’s Maintenance Reserve Fund. Our auditing firm continues to support this strategy. The Board is also asking voters to approve setting aside the remaining balance of $615,456 for future budget or maintenance needs. These contributions will help provide budget and tax stability in coming years. While we do not yet know the impact of Covid on the current fiscal year, these funds will also serve as a cushion should pandemic-related expenses push us into a spending deficit for the year.
Since our budget warning on January 27, the state has finalized our equalized pupil count at 1,746.48, higher than the previous estimate of 1,742.96. This change lowers the cost per pupil from $18,950 to $18,912, and lowers the currently anticipated tax rates by less than 1 cent. While we cannot edit the ballots now, we wanted to explain why there is a difference between our updated cost per pupil and the numbers that appear on the first ballot question.
We invite you to join us at our March 1 budget information session starting at 6PM on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/386460007), YouTube (HUWebapp) and MadRiver TV. A recording of our Feb 3 Budget Q and A is available online and we encourage voters to also check out the FY22 Budget Fact Sheet. Budget development materials can be found on the district website, under the Business Office tab at https://huusd.org/business-office. Board meeting information, including agendas, meeting packets, and links to meeting videos can be found at https://huusd.org/huusd-board. We thank you in advance for voting and for your continued support.
The HUUSD Board