board cuts $1M
Results in numerous
reductions in staff positions
By GREG KWASNIK
BEDFORD - On
Tuesday evening, the Bedford School Board approved more
than $1 million in cuts from next year's budget, a move
that will eliminate one teacher and several staff
positions across the district.
cuts include one Wellness teacher at Bedford High
School; two library assistants; two speech therapy
assistants; one SEED enrichment paraprofessional; one
custodian and several lunch and recess
board also voted to cut more than $268,000 from the
school operating budget, $218,000 of which would be
covered with funds from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
reductions included $23,354 from the summer elementary
reading clinic, eliminating grades four and five from
the program, and $26,000 from athletic and co-curricular
activity operating budgets.
of Schools Tim Mayes said the cuts are necessary given a
projected 18 percent increase in health insurance
premiums and a $78,000 decrease in state and local aid
over the coming year.
said that without the cuts, the school district's
preliminary 2010-11 budget would increase the town's tax
rate by 75 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property
Bedford resident urged the board to forego its high
educational expectations and make cuts for the town's
problem with those expectations is they're probably way
too high to begin with. If you're locked in with those
expectations, it makes your job very difficult,"
said Jim Scanlon. "I'm not saying any of these are
right, but those are the hard decisions that I don't
hear anybody making."
School Board debated a total of twenty proposed cuts
totaling $1.14 million. By the end of the night,
the board had voted to approve $802,000 of the cuts.
budget items that were salvaged included:
teaching position at Lurgio Middle School
existing behavior specialist
existing position supporting Bedford High School's
Real World Learning program
existing Personal Finance teacher at Bedford High
existing library assistant
To cover the
cost of the retained positions, the School Board voted
to make several cuts elsewhere in the budget. The
cuts included a deccrease in 2010-11 non-union pay
raises from 2.5 percent to 1 percent; and a $250,000
reduction in funds budgeted for health insurance.
board will revisit the health insurance cut following a
revised insurance premium estimate this spring.
board also discussed raising fees as a possible source
of revenue. Options proposed by Mayes include
charging $100 per student for high school
transportation, increasing student parking permit fees
from $25 to $100 a year, and instituting a pay-to-play
fee system for middle school and high school athletes.