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On February 5th, the First Deliberative Session was held, where all Articles were discussed and voted on. At this session, the voters get their first look at all articles and are able to vote on them as they are or make amend- ments to them then vote to ap- prove the article as amended. At the conclusion of this session, all articles are added to the March ballot to be voted on by the en- tire Newfound District voters.
The Budget Committee is re- sponsible for article 3, “The Op- erating Budget.” This article is made up of two budgets, the Pro- posed and the Default. The Pro- posed budget is what the budget committee makes adjustments by reviewing the previous year’s Expenditures and Revenues. The State sets the Default budget, which is actually last year’s bud- get plus/minus any contractual changes and minus any one-time expenditure and plus/minus any other adjustments, i.e., reduced
Large Turnout at Deliberative
March 2022
 interest payments.
The Proposed budget of
$26,179,406 is the final number the budget committee agreed upon under the limitations of the 2% tax cap and some additional revenues. If the Proposed budget does not pass, the Default bud- get of $25,840,240 will automat- ically be used as the budget for the 2022/2023 school year.
John Seller, the budget com- mittee representative for Bristol, stated one reason the budget committee agreed to the pro- posed budget by giving the SAU all the money it could because the SAU stated they want to im- prove student scores compared to other schools across the state. The SAU said Newfound should start seeing improvements within two to three years. The SAU will be providing the School Board and Budget Committee with sev- eral metrics to perform analysis against to evaluate if Newfound is improving.
A large attendance was at the Deliberative Session this year. This was mainly because of Arti- cle 5. The Petitioners of Article 5 asked the Newfound district vot- ers if they wanted to change the way each town pays the cost of running the school district. The proposed change was to go from 100% Average Daily Member- ship, ADM (each town is charged according to how many students in their town) to 50% ADM and the other 50% raised by property valuations.
One reason for this petition was because after reviewing the initial agreement from 1963, it was noted that the agreement would be reviewed every five years, and that has not been done at all in the past 59 years. The other reason for Article 5 was to help equalize the tax assessment, which has gotten out of hand over the years for many reasons. It was found that some towns pay very little, and some pay a lot,
and this is because of using only 100% ADM.
At the deliberative session, an amendment was introduced by Terry Murphy of Bridgewater to change Article 5 from its current state to a Study. The purpose of the study, which is limited to six months and will cost nothing to the taxpayers, is to try to find the right tax balance for all towns and make any recommendations that would go to the voters the following year. The study com- mittee will be made up of one member of each town selected by the select board of that town, one member of the Bridgewater Hebron School, and one school board member, nine members in all. The Superintendent will oversee the committee but will not have a vote. This amend- ment did pass and will be added to the March ballot for all voters to either pass or reject it.
There was also an informa- tional session held on February
2nd to discuss the ins and outs of the process. Article 5 was discussed as well as the Bridge- water-Hebron Village District. Petitioners provided the expenses incurred by the Bridgewater-He- bron Village District and the agreement with the Newfound Area School District. People were also informed about the 2021 Village tax rate for the towns of Hebron and Bridgewater, the expenses paid by the NASD in 2021, and the enrollment by town in the Bridgewater-Hebron Village school district.
If more are interested in the informational session, they can view the video from the session held on February sec- ond at com/watch?v=1yqOLulxF6o. The Deliberative session can be viewed at com/watch?v=wcLTCxw-UEw.

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