A Call for Fiscal Responsibility and Strategic Educational Spending in Hanover

HanoverVotes is a supporter of the Hanover Schools' mission statement, “To guide every student to thrive in a global society,” we, HanoverVotes, start from a place of deep commitment to the educational future of our children. We believe in the power of education to shape lives and acknowledge the dedication of the Hanover School Committee in this shared journey. Yet, it is from this place of shared values we find it necessary to voice our concerns regarding the proposed budget override.

Reflecting on Spending vs. Outcomes

The principle that more money translates to better education is not as straightforward as it seems. Evidence comparing educational systems from various towns reveals that superior educational outcomes do not always correlate with higher spending. This suggests that effective allocation, management of funds, and a strategic vision, rather than the amount spent, are the key determinants of educational success.

Concerns Over the Proposed Override

The proposed 12.9% increase in next year's school budget raises concerns about the need for a long-term educational strategy. It suggests significant spending across various areas— more money for teachers, more money for transportation, more money for tuitions, more money for programs —without a clear outline of expected outcomes or benefits.

What is our return on investment? What do we have to show? Higher property tax. Bigger budget for the schools. This approach may lead to temporary solutions for a couple of years, and then it will catch up to us again. We will have a new school committee asking for more money.

Strategic Planning for Sustainable Special Education Growth

For many years (2013 – 2021), Special Education’s average expenditures were around the same year over year (~$14K average IEP and $7M/yr.). This was the time to be building for the future. A sustainable plan is needed, one that adapts to financial fluctuations without compromising the quality of our children’s education. We need to expand when we can and we need to contract if we have to, without affecting our children’s education. Our education delivery to our children may change, but not the outcome of our children’s education. Those changes do not have to happen in one year but over several years. See graphs and charts below.

The bottom of this  article is School Committee's Override School Budget and the Proposed Base Budget from HanoverVotes



Where do we go from here?


  • FY 2025 salaries, add 3% (teacher's contracts up for renewal in 2025 – School Committee must hold the line. Scroll down to view memo from the Superintendent on 3% increase for FY 2025.
  • Only current staff are in the FY 2025 budget. Remove additional staff of $348,000 and Kindergarten of $174,000
  • Increased expenses for the Regular (8.7%) and Special Education (19.87%) budgets.
  • Even though the salary budget is based on every position filled, there are open positions throughout the year, which is a saving.

Side note: one benefit of the pandemic – recording of our town government meetings, handout material, and minutes are all online. If the board meetings were public, HanoverVotes reviewed the material. If boards had subcommittees that were not public because they did not meet the criteria of the open meeting law, then HanoverVotes was not privy to those discussions and material.


HanoverVotes Base Budget scenario. This is a proposal that Hanover Schools could consider a Base budget.  


From the Schools