December 22, 2009
Merrimack reduces school staff by 14
School board cuts over $627,000

MERRIMACK - In addition to the nine staff positions Superintendent Marge Chiafery suggested cutting in the budget she proposed to the school board, five additional full-time and part-time positions have been eliminated.

Originally, Chiafery proposed cutting one second grade and one fourth grade teacher from James Mastricola Elementary School, one Spanish teacher from Merrimack Middle School and one english teacher, once science teacher and one physical education teacher from Merrimack High School.

After the board requested further cuts, Chiafery proposed cutting an administrative assistant from the middle school and a night custodian, a math teacher and a school counselor from the high school.

As part of this plan is the proposal to cut one of the four team units in the seventh grade, which would eliminate one teacher in English, math, science and social studies and bring the student/teacher ratio up to 27 to 1, Chiafery said.

At the board's request, Chiafery also suggested some additional cuts to her original $68.4 million budget proposal.

One of her suggestions was to put off asbestos abatement at Thorntons Ferry Elementary School and carpet replacement at Mastricola Elementary School library.

The board voted 3 to 2 in favor of including the additional staffing cuts in its budget proposal and pushing off the asbestos and carpet replacements for another year, which provided $627,441 in total reductions.



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