Shrewsbury school budget gap closed by Board of Selectmen
Shrewsbury – The Shrewsbury Board of Selectman voted to close a $2.5 million school budget gap for Fiscal Year 2011 April 27. The Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Finance Committee all gathered at Shrewsbury Town Hall to discuss budget recommendations. Shrewsbury Schools Superintendent Joseph Sawyer explained that an initial $4.8 million school budget gap, some of which was due to increased out-of-district special education tuition, was reduced with a phase of cuts that included some personnel positions and other reductions. The cuts in positions will result in an impact on class sizes, Sawyer said.
“When we started reducing positions in our initial phase, we tried to do it through attrition wherever we could,” Sawyer said, “but, for example, some of the high school positions that were eliminated — an English position, a Social Sciences position – will result in higher class sizes in certain sections or, for example, some electives not being able to be offered.”
Because the $95.2 million town budget has a surplus of almost $3 million, the board decided some of those funds would be used to close the school budget gap, noting school officials have worked admirably to make cuts to eliminate the projected gap. The board’s recommendations face final approval by voters at Town Meeting.
Other budget decisions made April 27 by the board included:
Funding for three firefighters positions that faced elimination. Town Manager Dan Morgado informed the board a fourth position would be covered because he planned to promote internally for the Fire Chief job; a Shrewsbury Council on Aging (COA) position was retained with extra funds from the budget, but was reduced to part-time. The person in the position will be able to continue working full-time by working part-time with the COA and with additional part-time hours in another town department.
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