Public hearing set for proposed Berkshire Hills school budget


GREAT BARRINGTON — The school committee of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District will hold a public hearing Thursday for its proposed 2020 operating and capital budget.

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at the Monument Valley Regional Middle School's Student Center.

The district has pegged its net 2020 costs to run the district's three schools at $26.2 million, a 4.2 percent increase over last year.

Combined with a $2.2 million capital budget, the overall total is $28.4 million, an increase of 4.3 percent.

Partly because it has the most students attending the schools, Great Barrington's share of school costs is highest of the three towns, at $16.7 million, a 3.6 percent increase over last year. Stockbridge will see a 1.7 percent decrease with its share of $2.9 million; West Stockbridge's $3.1 million share is an 8.3 percent increase.

Article Continues After These Ads

School Committee Chairman Stephen Bannon said West Stockbridge's payment rise is attributed to the 2 percent hike in student enrollment, as well as a state formula that calculates a town's overall wealth.

But flat health insurance costs are keeping the overall budget down, Bannon said.

"It's not a terrible increase for us," Bannon said of the total increase, one that has been a sore spot for Great Barrington taxpayers in recent years.

He also said that capital costs, which include repairs, and debt payments for the newer schools, will be paid for with a fund of excess cash leftover from the previous year.

Heather Bellow can be reached at or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions