School Committee Approves a Budget That Prioritizes Student Needs


Photo: Amherst Media

Statement from the Regional School Committee About the FY 24-25 Budget

Source: Amherst Regional School Committee

On March 14, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee (RSC) approved a budget for fiscal year 2024-25 (FY25) that prioritizes students. The $35.7 million budget is coping with significant cost increases due to inflation. The approved budget is almost $1 million higher than the initial budget proposal and restores all of the educators and counseling positions that were previously considered for elimination or reductions, including World Language, Restorative Justice, Prep Academy, department heads, and paraeducators. 

The approved budget reflects almost $750,000 in reductions from a level-services budget, such as decreasing 2.1 FTEs (full-time equivalent employees) from the central office administration, two custodial positions and one clerical position, reducing professional development funds, and shifting some expenses to revolving funds. 

The assessment amount for each member towns is as follows: Amherst: $19.2 million, Pelham: $1.1 million, Leverett: $1.7 million, and Shutesbury: $1.7 million. These amounts reflect an 8.2% increase over the previous fiscal year, which is greater than the budget guidance provided by each of the member towns. The RSC also approved a reduced capital plan for FY25 that is $300,000 less than the original recommendation and postpones a number of non-urgent projects. 

The RSC invites the community to contact their town leaders (Town Council in Amherst; Selectboards in Pelham, Leverett, and Shutesbury) to encourage them to support this approved budget. 

The RSC is responsible for putting forward a budget that best supports the district’s students and aligns with the mission to provide a high-quality education that enables the students to be contributing members of a multiethnic, multicultural, pluralistic society. The RSC believes the proposed budget cuts would have been harmful, and not in keeping with the RSC’s responsibility and the mission of the district. While acknowledging the budget exceeds the guidance provided by the four member towns, the RSC is confident that the town leaders will approve the necessary funding to keep our regional public schools healthy and robust.

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1 thought on “School Committee Approves a Budget That Prioritizes Student Needs

  1. I am so grateful to our Regional School Committee for standing up for our schools. The towns need to provide a reasonable budget for a healthy and robust regional school system, and cutting the funding year over year, when physical improvements are also needed in our schools, is not reasonable or sustainable. Thank you, Amherst Regional School Committee!

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