Last week, the Board of Finance voted to cut the education budget by $1.7 million. Today, superintendent of schools Colleen Palmer announced possible reductions, if that cut is sustained.
Other reductions may also be added to the list. Right now, it includes:
- Implementing “pay for play” at Staples High School
- Eliminating freshman sports at Staples
- Eliminating individual music lessons in grades 4 – 8
- Reducing club and after-school offerings at the middle and high schools
- Reducing the Workshop Program
- Eliminating bus monitors
- Deferring yearly technology purchases
- Eliminating all 4 grade level assistants at Staples (the previous proposal eliminated 2)
- Eliminating library paraprofessionals
- Moving to a “double 3 tiers” of elementary busing, causing a 3:45 pm dismissal at either Long Lots, Coleytown Elementary or Greens Farms.
Palmer noted that according to union contracts, salary and benefits require at least a 3+% budget increase each year.
“It is impossible to hold costs constant for education when there are built-in systemic accelerators which we do not control. A $1.7 million cut forces severe reductions, impacting the quality of our district.”
The Board of Finance meets on April 5 at Town Hall (8 p.m., Rooms 201/201A). At that time, they may consider restoration of funds cut at their previous meeting.
The Board of Ed will discuss these issues at its own meeting this Monday (March 27, 7:30 p.m., Staples cafeteria). The meeting will be televised on Channel 78.