The budget planning and approval process edges its way to the Belmont Town Meeting on June 3. The School Department has submitted its current proposal to the Board of Selectmen and Warrant Committee, and the Department is currently in the middle of responding through the School Committee’s Subcommittee on Finance to the questions generated by the Warrant Committee’s Subcommittee on Education. We have been meeting jointly with the subcommittees and administration.
At present the budget anticipates balancing programs to current available funds by cutting 7.75 professional positions. The cuts would be in services as well as staff since having fewer professionals implies larger class sizes and an inability to add to some requested positions like counselors or tutors. Yet, the current proposed budget is just that—proposed. State funding could change the picture by providing increased available revenue.
There will be two public forums in early April so that the public can comment on the budget proposals. The first forum will be 7:30 pm, April 1, the Community Room of the Wellington School. The second forum will be 9:00 am, April 4, the Board of Selectmen’s chamber. The School Committee will take a formal vote to approve a budget submission at its regular meeting April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday!), Chenery Large Community Room, 7:30 pm.