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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Franklin School Community Regroups after Failed Override

Shown, student Emma Levy speaks to about 50 members of the Franklin community who turned out on a hot June 20th for a “Sit-In for Solidarity” to, as organizers put it “show love and support for Franklin students and teachers as they navigate this difficult time.” Franklin Public Schools had hoped the community would pass a $6.8 million budget override to sustain its programming, but the override failed by 236 votes, necessitating deep cuts.

By J.D. O’Gara
On June 11th, 45.3% of Franklin voters turned out to vote on a proposed $6.8 million Proposition 2 ½ tax override for the town. Franklin Schools, in particular, music, theatre and some language programs, faced drastic cuts in the face of the budget shortfall. Voters were divided on the measure, which failed at the polls, which failed 5,778 to 5,542, by 236 votes.
At a June 18th Franklin School Committee meeting, cuts were outlined, and much discussion was held. You can view this on Franklin TV’s YouTube Channel at
As of June 20th, Franklin Public Schools had prepared a letter to the school community that noted that the district was working with an appropriation of $75,324,829, approved May 22nd. The letter reads, in part, 
“While this appropriation represents a 4.5% increase over FY24, the largest increase the Franklin Public Schools have ever received, it still represents less than the School Committee’s approved budget intended to stabilize the district. As a result of the failed override vote, there is not enough funding to support the approved budget for current services and staffing in the next year (FY25). We must implement program and service cuts as a result of the failed Proposition 2 ½ override…”
The letter went on to outline cuts that, according to Dave Callaghan, of the Franklin School Committee, would be voted on officially September 27th, following Local Town Pages deadline. Here are some of the cuts to be voted on prior to finalization, as discussed in the letter:
“With a less-than-level service budget, 37 positions were eliminated, including teachers and educational support personnel (-5.1%), school administration (-6.4%), and other district non-union personnel and administrator (-22%), necessitating the district to prioritize educational needs. Over the past months, we have identified the reductions and shared the associated impacts with our school community.
• Educators = 33/644 = 5.1%
• School Leaders = 2/22 = 9.1%
• District non-union personnel and administrator= 3/9 = 22%”
Cuts, once officially voted, will reduce, in elementary, the number of schoolteachers, curriculum specialists for math and literacy, library support, and school adjustment counselors. At middle school level, they would eliminate middle school chorus and orchestra, reduce Spanish teachers, reading and library support, and close school libraries on certain days of the week. In high school, the number of teachers would be reduced, with some classes filling up beyond recommended guidelines, and electives would be reduced, and extracurricular activities reduced or eliminated. At press time, these weren’t finalized, but areas of focus include computer science, languages, creative writing, music programs and junior and sophomore AP electives. School administrators and teacher professional development would also be reduced, as would students support services, staff transfers would be necessary, and all fees for students would be increased by 25%. Again, this had yet to be voted on at press time. To read the full letter, visit: