Monday, April 11, 2022

HCSD Watch

It's spring, and as sure as warmer weather returns and flowers bloom, the Hudson City School District has proposed a budget for the coming school year that is more than this year's budget. Last Tuesday, a budget for 2022-2023 was recommended that is almost $2 million more than the current budget: $54,125,024 as opposed to $52,244,404--a 3.6 percent increase. The details of the proposed budget can be found here. A public hearing on the proposed budget, to take place in the Hudson High School library, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, at 6:00 p.m. The vote on the budget takes place two weeks later, on Tuesday, May 17.

The day we vote on the school budget is also the day we vote for members of the school board. This year it appears there may be five vacancies on the seven-member board. The terms of four members of the board--Willette Jones, Mark DePace, Chuck Parmentier, and Lakia Walker--expire at the end of June 2022. Gossips has learned that Sage Carter resigned in March, before her term, which was to end in June 2023, expired. That leaves only two board members: Selha Graham and Lucinda Segar. 

For those contemplating accepting the challenge and running for the school board, you have until 4:00 p.m. on April 27 to obtain at least 100 signatures on a nominating petition. Nominating petitions can be obtained by emailing or calling the District Clerk, or 518 828-4360, ext. 2101.


  1. I'm relatively new here, so these may be questions whose answers are widely known, or available elsewhere. Nonetheless I am surprised to find the budget document includes no basic data against which to gauge the proposed increase.

    At a minimum, it would be interesting to understand:

    - Number of students served by the HCSD in the current/projected year vs. prior year(s).

    - Number of employees (FTE equivalents), again current vs. past – there’s mention of new positions, but no specifics.

    - It would be helpful to see the employee numbers broken down into teaching/admin/janitorial (I'm sure these aren't exactly the correct categories, but you get the idea).

    - Some information about student outcomes, achievement, graduation rates, etc. In other words, how is HCSD tracking against the laudable goals listed on slide 3?


      here you go -- 1/2 the budget is spent instructing the students in Hudson, but they perform very poorly.

      the costs in hudson are twice as much as anywhere else in the state.


    2. Good questions... The school district purposefully keeps this type of information hidden. Why? Because student enrollment has been dropping annually, yet they increase their budget by the maximum allowed by the state every year. We pay near the highest amount in the state per pupil and have near the lowest test scores. At this point, we could afford to pay tuition and send every student to private school (which is what most families that have the means choose to do in Hudson).

      For as much scrutiny we give our city government (as we should), the School District tries its best to keep a low profile. They even schedule their meetings at the same times as city government meetings (and only in-person) so that nobody will pay attention. They barely publicize the state required budget vote to the general public, so that only parents and teachers know to show up.

      You all complain about the high property taxes in Hudson. Well, the school tax is the lion's share of what you pay. All determined by a shadow government with no transparency.

      Tuesday, May 17. Put it in you calendar and vote "no."

    3. Union Jack, your comments are excellent. I'd only add that stepping up to serve on the school board would be an excellent way to help the district rein in some of these high costs.

    4. Thank you, Union Jack. At least that provides some data, even if it is dismal. It would appear the HCSD is serving neither its students nor taxpayers.

  2. There is some very well-earned distrust between the school board and the community. HCSD is incredibly expensive per student, and the outcomes have not been that great historically.

    Education is a huge slice of the property tax pie and extremely important to the future of the community. It would be great if more people who believe in both quality education and fiscal responsibility would roll their sleeves up and get involved by running for the board.

    Last year's school board election was an absolute fiasco, and hopefully a crop of better candidates will yield a better outcome for both the students and the community.

    Petitioning is not that hard and I really hope good people get involved.

  3. That's an outrageous budget for an education that is mediocre, at best. Methinks that most of the money floats up to the top brass and the rest go hungry. I always vote no to these budgets. There is no impetus to curb spending if we keep approving them. And there is no one at the wheel, as far as the school board. The whole thing is a disaster, and a damned shame for the students.

    1. ...which is why it is so critical that we get some good people into the school board to start turning this tanker around. There are quite a few open seats and participation could make a real difference.

    2. Perhaps it is outrageous, perhaps it's entirely appropriate, considering the number of students and other factors.

      The point is none of that data is provided, so there is no way for anyone to judge.

      The lack of such basic information is frustrating and disappointing in a public body with a $50+ million budget funded in large part from taxes.

  4. Another blast from the past: a report we produced in 2010. You might ask how many of the 50 suggestions for "student academic improvement" were implemented?