Jim Reis: Northampton school budget — What went wrong?

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Published: 05-10-2024 4:18 PM

What happened? Clearly something went wrong the last couple of years in budget planning for Northampton schools. We don’t need to blame individuals, but we do need to understand the faulty process that led to this crisis to avoid this happening again. As most people know, and as someone who was involved in many budget planning processes, sustainability of funds in future years is a key factor in making wise decisions — it’s basic and common sense. So what happened? Was it faulty budget related information? Was it lack of understanding and judgment by the School Committee and/or the City Council and/or the mayor? Was it a lack of communication and coordination among these decision makers? Does the city need to reassess some of its more recent budget increases (i.e. Resilience Hub, Division of Community Care, Main Street redesign, etc.) to maintain essential services without always looking for a Proposition 2½ override ? We need to know to prevent this from happening again. We need to know what went wrong.

Jim Reis


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