The School Committee held a public hearing tonight on the proposed FY2020 budget – the same one that they already took a straw vote on last week and unanimously supported. Last week, the room was packed (standing room only) with mostly parents concerned about the proposed changes to the equity policy. Tonight, the room was packed with a sea of red shirts worn by teachers, aides, and counselors and a hallway jammed with more red shirts and sign bearing folks- all adamant in wanting a fair contract settled BEFORE the budget is approved. There was testimony about how many teachers and aides couldn’t be there tonight because they are working their 2nd or 3rd job to make ends meet, and how they are tired of having to battle every time the contract is up, how school communities are built on the goodwill of teachers, how Newton cares about education not educators, and one teacher questioned whether a career in education is sustainable. One teacher quoted from the Mayor’s campaign promises and recounted a visit from the Mayor to her class where the Mayor pledged support for the schools. Standing ovation from the audience for one speaker, a graduate of the Newton Public School and Newton resident, who said he is grateful to the teachers who helped him and how hurt he is to hear that teachers don’t have the support they need. The School Committee will vote on the budget at its next meeting.