The Keene School District will hold a public hearing tonight on its proposed 2021-22 budget and warrant.
The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be held via Zoom. Anyone who wants to attend the virtual meeting should register in advance by visiting www.keeneschoolsnh.org and clicking on “Keene School Board” under the Keene School District heading of the website.
During the meeting, Kris Roberts, chairman of the Keene Board of Education’s Finance Committee, will present the proposed operating budget of $69,155,390. Roberts said Monday that the finance committee’s budget proposal is $1,339,876 less than the budget originally requested by district administrators, adding that the reductions are designed to limit the budget’s impact on taxpayers.
After Roberts’ presentation, the school board will accept public comments and questions. The board will allow for public comment again after Chairman George Downing presents contract proposals with two labor unions: the Keene Association of Principals and Supervisors and the Keene Paraprofessionals Association, Roberts said.
After the public hearing, the school board will discuss any potential changes to the proposed budget before voting to adopt it and sending it to voters for their consideration.
Voters can discuss and amend the budget proposal and other warrant articles at a deliberative session, slated for Feb. 6 at 9 a.m., before voting them up or down at the polls in March. Roberts said Monday that the school board is moving forward with plans to hold an in-person deliberative session in the Keene High School auditorium, which he said should provide enough room for social distancing.
Elections will be held March 9. In addition to the budget and warrant articles, six of the school board’s nine seats will be on the ballot. The filing period for open school district positions begins Wednesday and runs through next Friday, Jan. 29.