As we approach our annual town meetings and decide our funding priorities, I want to make a case for fully funding Hopkinton Public Schools.
Hopkinton has long held providing a top-tier public education as an essential piece of our identity. Our schools have received local and national recognition for our student outcomes and the excellence of the staff around them. Another hallmark of our schools’ value is our rapidly expanding student population. This educational success is only possible because of the support and collaboration at every level in Hopkinton.
The excellence in our schools benefits Hopkinton as a whole. Well-funded public schools provide significant social and economic benefits for communities, like reducing unemployment and dependence on public assistance programs, and increasing tax revenue. Educational excellence also reduces crime, improves public health and increases civic engagement.
According to the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research, National Bureau of Economic Research and the U.S. Department of Education, for every dollar a community spends on public education, the community receives:
- $2 back through tax revenue and reduced spending in other areas;
- $25 reduction in lifetime health costs;
- $20 increase in property values.
Since November, I have participated in many lengthy discussions about district needs and how the budget will address those needs. This budget is being presented to the community with great care, thought and diligence by everyone involved. We had joint meetings with partnering boards and committees and received unwavering support for the meticulous approach of school stakeholders to ensure a fiscally and academically sound budget.
Any cuts to this budget will impact our students and the community in the coming school year and beyond. Underfunding our schools will have student academic and socioemotional consequences and financial and social costs to Hopkinton. If the growth in our community is due to the success of our schools, it stands to reason a loss in population, tax revenue and property values will occur if we compromise that success.
Like everywhere else, the schools have dealt with increased needs and rising costs. We must address these needs and costs now, as our students do not have the luxury of seeing what will happen if we wait. Education is timely and essential and builds on itself — education loss snowballs.
Please consider reviewing Hopkinton Public School’s proposed fiscal year 2024 operating budget: hopkinton.k12.ma.us/about/school-committee/budget.
— Holly Morand, Hopkinton School Committee
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