When I ran for School Committee three years ago, one of my goals was to ensure that the School District’s budget delivered the best value for our taxpayer dollars. I believe that this value is best realized when our programs have direct impact on student learning. It’s a metric that I use throughout the budget process and I couldn’t be more pleased with the initial results.
Last year, we asked the community to support a budget that brought significant changes to our educational model. We sought expansions to foundational programs and were pleased to have the support of the community. At our last School Committee meeting, Dr. MacLeod reported first year results from these programs which already show tremendous individual student progress in math and reading including 93% of kindergartners reaching their reading benchmark by the end of February. I strongly believe that the budget we proposed this year will continue this trend and lead broader student progress improvements at all grade levels.
I also believe that, for the budget process to be effective, we must proceed in an open and transparent manner. In my first term, we adopted financial policies that govern how we manage not only our annual budget process, but the overall fiscal practices of the districts. These policies help us more clearly communicate with the community about how the budget is created and how those funds are managed. They also support greater community dialogue throughout the process.
Creating and managing a value-driven budget is one of the most important responsibilities of the School Committee. I believe the results and the process by which they were achieved in my first term show that my skills and approach make me the right candidate to continue to serve in this role, and I respectfully ask for your vote on May 18th.