As the school department waits for final numbers from the state and federal government, Superintendent of Schools Joseph Sawyer announced he may have to make at least 24 to 40 personnel cuts to makeup the budget gap.
The proposed school budget reflects a $3 million budget shortfall, which Sawyer said could be remedied by the following cost reductions. He announced the following recommendations at a joint meeting between the School Committee, Finance Committee and the :
- The Beal School principal position will not be filled and be combined with the current Paton School principal position for one year.
- They are moving all students from grade 1 back to from Beal School.
- Two additional full-day classes will be opened at , kindergarten will be moved back to Beal and a pre-kindergarten class will be moved back to Parker Road. This will avoid two personnel layoffs at Beal.
- An early retirement incentive is being offered to avoid some layoffs with a deadline of March 9. The number and role of participants will affect the budget recommendation expected on Wednesday, March 14.
- Given the limited options for operational cost reductions, as many as 24 to 40 professional-level educator positions plus undetermined number of support positions may be cut to close the remaining gap, assuming no additional funding.
- The special education budget continues to be volatile.
A School Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. and the final budget recommendations will be announced. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the with the School Committee.