Dear Northampton Community,
In the beginning of April, I announced a plan to use $1.2 million of one-time funds from the city’s stabilization fund to cover a large portion of the $2.3 million shortfall in the FY2024 Northampton Public Schools (NPS) budget. This decision is part of a two-year plan to balance the school budget, return to strong fiscal principles, and work together as a community to advocate for more equitable state funding.
Our community work needs to start now. Our immediate goal is to have a positive impact on the choices for the state budget this year, including the plans for the Fair Share Amendment. Northampton overwhelmingly supported the Fair Share Amendment last November, with 82% voting in favor of it. Many of us were particularly focused on the hope of a desperately needed new source of state aid revenue for our schools. Concerningly, preliminary proposals for this new state tax revenue have shown little focus on K-12 education funding.
Please join me, the Northampton Association of School Employees (NASE), State Senator Jo Comerford and State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, and others in our school, city, and broader Northampton community in asking to increase state funding for our public schools.
Please add your name to this letter to State Legislators advocating that the following critical increases be included in the final state budget for the education of our students:
- $100 per pupil for minimum aid communities (like Northampton)
- Fully fund the Charter School Tuition Reimbursement formula
- Fully fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker
- Reimburse the 14% increase in the cost assessed to districts for out-of-district placements
- Allocate $166M in funds from the Fair Share Amendment for K-12 education (equal parts of the estimated $500M to early childhood and care, K-12 education, higher education)
We will be asking you to join us in advocating for long-term goals as well, but right now we need your help advocating for the Fiscal Year 2024 state budget.
Please join us by signing this letter to state legislators to advocate for fair state funding, and please share the link with anyone who cares about our public schools!