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How Do You Feel About a 5 Percent Spike in Next Year’s School Budget?

In the return of Question of the Day, Wellesley Patch asks if you think the number is too high, just right or possibly too low.

At another School Committee meeting last night, presented her revised school budget.

During the first go-round Jan. 19, Wong recommended a budget increase of about .  Tuesday night, Wong scaled it back to about 5.44 percent, this time taking into account STTI funding, which pays for state-required programming for students with special educational needs.

The budget for fiscal year 2013 now sits at $62,970,021.20.

Wong reduced the budget by cutting 11 teaching assistant positions from the first iteration.

Wong stayed close to her initial estimate of a 4.4 percent needed level service increase, but is this budget where it should be?

The town will likely put a Proposition 2 ½ override article on the final version of this year’s Town Meeting warrant. If Town Meeting votes to accept the override, taxes could be raised above the state-capped 2.5 percent levy.

The public hearing on the school budget is tonight at the , and it could spill over to tomorrow. How will you sound off? Should Wong cut more or is it right where it should be?

MS H January 25, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I don't think a 6.7% increase is that much, and I am concerned as a homeowner and parent of school-aged children what the cuts will do to the schools--especially in light of the increased enrollement numbers. They are already severly short-staffed in the HS. I would hate to see the schools trim any more. If they continue to cut corners, the schools will decline and it's the children's quality of education that will suffer. Come on, how much does a 6.7% increase come out to for most taxpayers, anyway? Around $500/year? That's less than $42.00/month. Too little to quibble about, but enough of a chunk out of an already bare-bones budget to make a difference to the quality of our children's education.
MJ January 26, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Easy to say it's not too much if you have kids in school. BUT...consider that people like me, with a six bedroom house will MOVE if taxes get worse. I will sell to someone WITH children, you can be sure. It will be a net loss to the town and I can assure you, I am legion. There have been many such conversations in my neighborhood. Prepare for more students with no increase in tax revenue.
MS H January 27, 2012 at 03:25 AM
That's what people always say--that they'll move. Some do, some don't. Attrition in the suburbs is normal--people with 6-bedroom houses downsize; families with kids move in to a larger. It's cyclical. But a $500 increase in yearly taxes forcing people to move out? I dont' buy it. And people who no longer have kids in the schools being unwilling to pay for something that drew them to Wellesley or that they took advantage of for their kids? Just plain wrong.
Fred Higgins January 27, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Then you should move. The biggest draw for people to live in this district are the outstanding public schools. You live in a district with one of the best public school systems in the world. When you sell that house to that family with kids on your way out say, "Thank you" to the public schools because the price you get, even in this economy, is because of our fantastic school district.
MJ January 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I don't have kids. I came for the 1 acre lots. Because of the price of my house, he increase for me is far more than $500. I pay $25,000 year in tax. What I find is people with kids think nothing is too good for their little darlings...as long as someone else is paying for it. As for the nasty tone of the comments telling me to move--be careful what you wish for. You may get 4 new students in the system.
MJ January 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
And-- you're saying how I should say thank you to Wellesley. How about the courtesy of you parents saying thank you to US--the people without kids who PAY because of YOUR decision to HAVE kids??? Fred Higgins, I've been overpaying for years & years for my Wellesley taxes so the office manager of the "fantastic" school system can be incompetent. NO PRICE that I will get for my home will ever repay me for the money I paid into the school system & never used. I am not the ingrate--YOU are.
MS H January 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM
MJ, if I follow your logic, you're threatening to move because taxes are too high, and you think a family moving in will be a bad thing?? I don't agree--the family that buys your house will be moving to Wellesley largely due to the schools, and once they get here, they will support the school system, and feel lucky that they can afford a 6-bedroom house (and the taxes that come with it) and be happy to pay for what they get. I look forward to those 4 new students and their parents who will support the school system and the taxes that come with it. Fred is right--the reason people want to live here and the reason that real estate is so high is directly tied in to the quality of the schools. I'm not asking anyone else to pay for my kids education--I'm happy to pay my fair share for the services provided by this town--for those services I do and do not use. And of course we want the best for our kids--who doesn't?? I think every town with a predominance of families supports their schools and wants the best for the children of the community. And I don't think that the tone of anything Fred said was as nasty and sharp as your response.

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