Categories: News

School Override Proposal Could Come Before Town Council in July

By Adam Swift

The school department could be ready with a Proposition 2-½ override proposal for Fiscal Year 2026 to present to the town council in the coming weeks.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Council President Jim Letterie said Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard is working on the final figure for the proposed override. The council would then have to approve putting the override before the town’s voters.

The school department is facing a $1.4 million shortfall for the FY25 budget, but Howard has stated that the schools should be able to prepay for some items for FY25 with current fiscal year funds, as well as close out a number of accounts.

Letterie said that those measures will not be available to provide an adequate school budget for FY26.

“The superintendent is going through every nook and cranny, going through all financial documents to see what the number would be,” said Letterie. “I feel pretty comfortable that they will propose a number, sometime probably in their first July meeting, the school committee will vote on that recommendation and submit it to the council.”

Letterie said that recommendation will likely be submitted to the council by the second meeting in July or first meeting in August.

“Any financial item that goes on the ballot, it needs education, it needs people to get involved, it needs people to understand what they are voting for, what type of community they are looking for, what services they want provided,” said Letterie. “Whatever is submitted to the council for a 2-½ override, I encourage citizens to get involved … and ask questions and participate.”

Precinct 2 Councilor John Munson asked if the school override would require a list of specific expenses and items.

“A school department does not have a line item budget, they have a bottom line budget,” said Letterie. “But I’m sure that the superintendent is going to be extremely specific in what the money will cover.”

Letterie said it has been 15 years since the town has voted on an override, and at that time, he said the town did a menu item on the town side in regards to specific departments.

“With the school, it is a bottom line budget, so they will ask for a specific dollar figure,” said Letterie. “But I’m sure, if they hope to get it passed, they are going to explain, and I know that the superintendent is working on that diligently, and it will be a very detailed explanation.”

The ballot question itself will be very generic with language specified by the state asking for a certain amount of money in an override for the schools, Letterie said.

Transcript Staff

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