Dr. Lisamarie Spindler, superintendent of the Hudson City School District, appeared at the informal meeting of the Common Council last night to talk about the proposed 2022-2023 budget. The presentation she made to the Council was essentially the same as the presentation made at the budget hearing on May 3, and the visuals for that presentation can be found here.
Of interest is that Spindler told the Council, if the proposed 2022-2023 budget is voted down next Tuesday, they will not go directly to the contingency budget, as they have many times in the past. Instead they will reassess the proposed budget and present a new budget to voters on June 21.
Also of interest is that Spindler's presentation to the Council included a number for the student population of HCSD, a statistic that it is not always easy to find: 1,619.
The information that provoked the most discussion from councilmembers is contained in this visual. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
Spindler told the Council the Combined Wealth Ratio (CWR), a number that determines the amount of state aid received by HCSD, has increased, and consequently, the amount of state aid coming to the district has decreased. The CWR is a measure of the relative wealth of a district that combines property values and incomes. The statewide average CWR is represented by 1; the CWR for HCSD is now 0.9. Although the district overall is getting wealthier, 70.17 percent of the students enrolled in the HCSD are from low-income households.
Spindler described the situation as "very unique." Councilmember Margaret Morris (First Ward) called it "something that needs some drilling down." She posited some explanations. "Either the wealth in Hudson is not people with school age children, or better off people are sending their kids elsewhere." She continued, "Something is very skewed about those numbers. We have to know why kids are going elsewhere." Morris concluded her comments by saying, "It is a great thing that we are actually having this conversation." Gossips concurs.
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