Wednesday, June 26, 2013

School Committee meets to address budget cuts

The School Committee met Tuesday to discuss the four million dollar cut made to the department by the City Council. 

Last Thursday, the City Council voted 8-2 in favor of withholding four million dollars in funds in order to create themselves a way of overseeing school department finances for FY 2013-2014. The School Committee made it clear yesterday that in order to legally comply, the budget would need to be trimmed to $105 million. In order to do that, all New Bedford sports programs would end. Busing for high-school students would be eliminated.  Additionally, elementary school start times would shift to accommodate different transportation schedules as a result, and another fifty-two positions would be cut on top of the over two hundred already announced. It simply isn't possible. 

The Committee made a motion to extend more oversight to the Council. While requesting the $4 million back immediately, they invited Councilors in to their finance subcommittee meetings once per quarter to ask questions and review spending. 

The school administration had taken the School Committee's earlier plea for restorations to the arts and elementary classroom teachers by identifying twelve positions they would like restored first. Two of those have been restored thus far. The Committee is asking the Council for an additional $400,000 to fund the other ten. 

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