This week, all active voters will receive their ballots in the mail. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the town clerks' offices and volunteers, more than 16,800 ballots were prepared and mailed. Our budget is a statement of EWSD's vision and values, and reflects the support necessary to meet students' academic and socioemotional needs. Especially through these difficult times, we remain grateful to our communities for supporting the efforts of our schools.

Budget Highlights:

- $81,732,048 - Net Ed Spending down (0.03%);

- Equalized pupils down (0.77%);

- Net Ed Spending/Equalized Pupil up 0.74%;

- Homestead Tax Rates in all three communities were down, but property values were up so the impact of the Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) on the projected tax rates resulted in the following increases*:

-- Westford up 0.29%*;

-- Essex and Essex Junction up 1.71%*

- For those who pay their taxes based on income, the rate is projected to increase from 2.42% to 2.46% of household income*.

* final tax impact will be based on the final yields as approved by the legislature and signed by the governor.

This budget is the result of several months of administrative planning, school board meetings, deliberations, and student data review, and makes strategic investments in building our capacity to meet the needs of all of our students. In compliance with federal requirements, students will be taking statewide assessments this spring, and regular local assessments inform instruction and planning throughout the year. Additional budget information can be found at

The EWSD's vision has continued to drive our commitment to center equity in every aspect of our District's work. The Board is working on an equity policy with input from a diverse group of students, staff, and community members. We look forward to ensuring that our values are reflected in policy, and that we have standards by which to evaluate our progress. Our student Board members have been committed partners in this policy work, trusted voices in driving change at EHS, and inspiring leaders in their social justice efforts throughout the District and state. We are grateful for their passionate commitment to this work.

This past year has been like nothing we could have imagined. In the face of a global pandemic, the intentional planning of our District has allowed us to find new ways to address the diverse needs of our families and our employees, while adhering to critical safety guidance. We recognize this shift in practice and learning models has presented challenges to all involved, and has amplified concerns regarding equity. Be assured that we remain steadfast in our commitment to the EWSD vision, "Growing hearts and minds, for a better today and tomorrow - every day, every way, every one." We extend our deepest appreciation to Superintendent Beth Cobb, the leadership team, teachers, support staff, community partners, students, and families, for their extraordinary efforts in these extraordinary times.

With gratitude,

Kim Gleason and Martha Heath, EWSD Board Co-Chairs

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