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    Dear Town and School Leaders, Now that the Town has learned that it is receiving $12 million through the American Rescue Plan, and the elementary schools have learned they are receiving a further $1,553,427 under ESSER-3 -- in addition to the approximately $2.7 million in other Covid and ESSER funding, can you please work out a way to restore the $35,000 cut to the elementary art teachers for fiscal year 2022? Whether the Town allocates this amount to the elementary schools out of the ARPA funds, or the schools allocate that amount out of the Covid-relief funding, I am sure that many students and families would really appreciate having the art teachers at the schools five days per week in the fall. Many thanks, Toni Cunningham Parent to two art-loving children at Wildwood

    Toni C asked 7 months ago

    Thank you Toni. The Town has begun a process to assess the broader impacts of the pandemic which will include fiscal impacts. This process will help guide the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds and will include input from key stakeholders such as those representing the schools. The budget reduction you have mentioned will be considered during this process.

    Thank you!

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    When will the Town and Schools receive information on the amount and eligible uses of ESSER 3 funds? How can the community best advocate for the application of ESSER 3 funds to the FY22 Elementary Schools budget? Most importantly, I would like the Town to use these funds to cover the $75,000 in cuts to art and technology specials teachers at Crocker Farm, which has a knock-on effect of cuts to art and tech at both Wildwood and Fort River.

    Toni C asked 9 months ago

    Thank you, we anticipate getting further information, including the exact amounts, on the American Rescue Plan Act and ESSER 3 in the coming weeks but we do not have a definitive date as of yet. One way to advocate is to share your thoughts with Town Council, School Committee, the Town Manager, and the Superintendent.

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    The budget calls for a property tax increase of ~4.1 %. I thought the limit for increases was 2.5% per law. Am I wrong in my understanding?

    Tom asked 9 months ago

    You are correct that the law allows the levy limit to increase by 2.5% each year. The actual levy is different than the levy limit and can increase because of the 2.5%, new growth (new construction in town) and excess levy capacity. Excess levy capacity is created when the actual levy is not increased up to the levy limit in a prior year. The link below will bring you to a helpful explanation on this subject. 

    Thank you