Skip to content




SHIRLEY — School administrators have released a revised report of fiscal year 2009 budget reductions required by the Finance Committee.

The committee has asked all departments to submit three budget proposals — level-service, level-funded and a 5 percent decrease — to be reviewed prior to the June Annual Town Meeting.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Malcolm “Mac” Reid recently presented the School Committee with his recommended budget, which totaled just over $9.6 million — an increase of almost 10 percent over the FY08 budget.

Cuts required to the recommended budget to reach level-service status total $220,000, according to the report, which was provided at the committee’s April 9 meeting.

They include four requests for new positions:

* A full-time middle school media literacy teacher, who would teach students the safe and effective use of technology as a tool for learning and obtaining information.

* A full-time math specialist for students in kindergarten through grade four.

* A full-time Spanish teacher at SMS.

* A second full-time phys-ed teacher.

Technology expenses would also be cut by $25,000. To offset other line-item expenses, the rental fees for school facilities, such as the middle school auditorium, could be increased by 40 percent, said district business manager Evan Katz.

To meet the Finance Committee’s level-funded goal, the list is longer. The proposed budget cuts equal $633,850.

The only newly recommended positions on the list are two full-time computer lab assistants.

Several established positions would have to be eliminated as well. They include one full-time guidance counselor, two full-time middle school teachers, one full-time second-grade teacher and one elementary school reading assistant. The report also notes the health insurance and Medicare savings for each position would be eliminated.

The cuts would affect classroom structure, first by forcing the remaining seventh- and eighth-grade teachers to each teach a second subject — outside of their area of expertise — and second, by increasing class sizes in several grades to between 23 and 25 students, said Reid.

Student activity fees could be increased from $75 to $100 to generate additional revenue and offset expenses, said Katz.

Additionally, the district is only required by the state to transport students in kindergarten through sixth grade who live more than two miles from school, Katz pointed out.

“I think we could do better than that with four buses rather than eight,” he said.

However, some students pay bus fees, and part of Katz’s plan to defray other expenses includes increasing those fees.

Nearly $122,000 more would have to be shaved from the budget to reach a 5 percent decrease under the FY08 budget.

School Committee members agreed that by the next meeting they must approve the budget that will be submitted to the town.

Reid suggested that the committee schedule the official budget hearing on the same day as its next meeting, May 13.

Once the budget hearing has passed, the committee may no longer increase its budget request, but it can vote for decreases, he reminded committee members.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.