By Carol Britton Meyer
The Advisory Committee and Selectmen have unanimously voted to support the proposed $61.8 million school budget for the coming year, which includes 32 new positions to help address the learning gap experienced by students as a result of the pandemic and associated social-emotional issues.
In addition, AdCom and the Selectmen support an overall fiscal 2022 $132 million town budget -- including the schools, municipal departments, capital outlay, and shared expenses. Four new positions are included on the municipal side.
Voters at the May 8 Town Meeting will have the final say on the municipal and school budgets.
Funding is in place for fiscal 2022, but how the costs associated with the new positions will be funded in the future is a concern and will likely lead to an override vote in 2022, Selectmen Chair Mary Power predicted recently.
In the meantime, the Advisory Committee and Selectmen will be working with the School Committee to craft a long-term strategic plan for the schools to help address budget and other issues and to create a path forward.