Hopkinton budget hearing Wednesday will feature original proposed school budget

Monitor staff
Published: 2/5/2023 2:44:02 PM
Modified: 2/5/2023 2:43:21 PM

Hopkinton is holding a public hearing Wednesday on the proposed town and school district budgets for 2023-2024. The hearing, hosted by the Hopkinton Budget Committee, is an opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on the budgets before Town Meeting in March.

Hopkinton, which uses a traditional town meeting system, will have ballot voting March 14 for elected officials and a Town Meeting on March 18 to vote on the budget and warrant articles. The school district annual meeting is March 11.

The Hopkinton Budget Committee decided last week after much debate to bring a school budget of $24.8 million before voters this town meeting. The $24.8 million budget is nearly an 8% increase over the current school budget of $23 million. It’s also the original budget the Hopkinton School Board proposed this year, before reducing the budget down to a lower amount after receiving feedback from residents and the Budget Committee that the first one was too high.

The reduced budget the School Board had proposed was $24.7 million, a 7.1% increase over the current budget. It would have required eliminating a fourth-grade teaching position at Maple Street School and a reading interventionist position at Harold Martin School. After hearing public comment on the reduced budget at a meeting Jan. 25, the Hopkinton Budget Committee voted 7 to 2 – with one abstention – in favor of restoring the original budget and keeping the teaching positions.

The Hopkinton School Board will discuss the Budget Committee’s decision at a school board meeting Tuesday, one day before the budget public hearing.

The proposed town operating budget and sewer expenses for Hopkinton is about $9.2 million, a 10.8% increase over the current operating budget of $8.2 million. The estimated tax impact of the town operating budget and warrant articles together is $7.53.

For those looking to attend in person or participate, the budget hearing will be 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Hopkinton Town Hall, 330 Main Street. There is also a Zoom link on the town website to tune in remotely.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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