Belmont Educators: Speak Up To Save Our Public Schools

Editor’s note: the following blog post was submitted to Blogging Belmont by Belmont Public School educators. In it, the educators update readers about the financial challenges facing the school, identify some important, upcoming meetings where those challenges facing the school system will be discussed. They also provide an email template that can be used to urge Select Board members to back an override that is large enough to fully fund our K-12 schools.

Belmont Public Schools Budget Update

The structural funding deficit in the town of Belmont has reached a critical point. Despite the budget for this school year being increased, it was still insufficient and resulted in $2 million in cuts to programming in the Belmont Public Schools (for example: 6th grade World Language program). The Select Board is in the process of determining the size of an override that will be voted on by residents in Spring 2024 to resolve this crisis. A failed override will result in almost $3 million of additional cuts within the district as outlined in Superintendent Geiser’s December 20th presentation. These cuts would include staffing reductions at all school levels resulting in reduced academic and extracurricular program offerings. The Belmont Public Schools cannot afford more cuts to its staffing and programming.

Currently the Select Board is discussing an override of around $7 million dollars which will only maintain level services in the district.  Our schools need an override that will not just meet level services but will also allow educators to begin to address some of the issues and goals outlined in Superintendent Geiser’s November 30th presentation.

If you want the Belmont Public Schools to be funded appropriately, please contact the Belmont Select Board and/or attend upcoming Select Board events (1/8/24, 1/19/24, 1/25/24) in person. Ask the Select Board to choose an override amount for the April 2024 ballot that will maintain level services in the schools and begin to meet the needs of the district as outlined in Superintendent Geiser’s presentations.

Thank you for your support!

Belmont Educators

Select Board Members 

Sample Email

Dear Mark, Roy, and Elizabeth,

I am writing regarding the override that you will be putting on the April 2024 ballot in order to ensure that you select an override amount that will fully fund the schools.

As you know, the school budget for this past year was increased but was still insufficient resulting in $2 million in cuts to staffing and programming in Belmont Public Schools.  As a [parent, resident, voter, citizen, non-voting resident, business owner….] I am concerned that an override of $7 million will maintain level services but not begin to address the issues Superintendent Geiser outlined exist within the district. Belmont Public Schools cannot continue to offer the high quality education it currently does without additional resources. We need to bring back programs and positions, not cut additional ones.

I ask that when deciding on the final size of the override you select an amount that will fully fund the schools as well as begin to fund the requests Superintendent Geiser proposed in her November 30th budget plan. The students of Belmont deserve the highest quality education that we as a community can offer them. 

Thank you for your service to Belmont,

[your name]