Override vote draws debate

Kendall McGowan, Managing News Editor

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Photo by Kendall McGowan

In an election on May 5, Brookline residents who are eligible to vote will have to decide whether or not they support a tax override which will raise taxes by $7.67 million in order to support the Brookline school system. The results of this override vote will affect the high school and how it deals with enrollment growth in coming years.

The Brookline Public schools have had a 38% enrollment increase, while the population at the high school has gone up by 25%.

According to Headmaster Deborah Holman, the high school will face many challenges if the override does not pass. She said that if this is the case, the high school will have to reduce the equivalent of 5.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff positions, which equals $324,000. This will translate into reduced class sizes or less course offerings, depending on the department.

She also said that if the override does go through, the high school will be able to maintain both class sizes and course offerings, as well as increasing the materials budget for things such as books, notebooks, textbooks and other supplies, all to keep up with the enrollment growth. Other benefits would include being able to continue after school supports for students, and maintaining an existing K through 12 technology plan which has so far provided mounted projectors to every classroom in the high school, and will grant the high school more chromebook and laptop carts if it is continued.

 

However, in a letter to the Brookline Tab on May 2, Brookline resident Julian Fisher urged fellow residents to vote against the override.

“Vote No on Question 1, send the Selectmen a message,” he wrote. “Before Brookline becomes unaffordable. Except for the 1 percent.”

More information about the Campaign for a Better Override (no) campaign can be found here, and information about the Yes for Brookline (yes) campaign can be found here.

Kendall McGowan can be contacted at [email protected]