School budget requires 20.7 FTE staff cut to meet WC request

by Frank Schroth

Superintendent Gormley and her leadership team have identified the cuts required to meet the Warrant Committee’s budget request for a budget that is $1.5 million over FY13 level funded and has been presenting those to PTOs in town. This budget will require cutting 20.7 full time equivalents from the payroll. 

A budget that is $1.5 million over FY 13 is $36,912,344 (i.e. FY13 of $35,412,344 + $1.5million). The schools have asked for $38,379,680. Their request would cover increases in mandatory costs (e.g. Special Ed, salaries, etc.) as well as value added services they have identified as needed to move the district forward. These are early literacy, closing the achievement gap, and amplifying the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative. The difference between the two is $1,467,336. That is the amount that needs to be cut to meet the Warrant Committee request.

The administration has identified two levels of cuts to meet the amount. Level 1 is defined as  ”Below level service funding results in a reduction of current services and programs offered to students.” and a second level is defined as “Most critical reductions/ all are classroom teachers/negatively impacts student achievement/elimination of some programs.

Level one cuts which would save $950,336 would include but not be limited to cutting a librarian aide, elimination of health ed program in one or more grades and increasing size of other elective offerings, cutting world language, 3 non-teachning personnel, and 2 custodians.

Level two cuts which would save an additional $517,000 include but not be limited to 1 FTE in music that would eliminate Gr 5 band, strings, and chorus, .5 art FTE which would eliminate the ACE for Gr 5 and reduce Gr 4 & 5 from 45 mins to 30 mins, 1 FTE in social studies at Pierce and 1 FTE in History at the high school.

The school committee has an agenda item, FY14 Cut/Reduction List (Vote), for their meeting this evening.

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