Today's Boston Globe does the best job yet of itemizing the range of cuts that will be in the final school budget. The budget is expected to be released early this week, and the public will have a chance to speak on it Thursday night at 7:00 pm at the Memorial Building auditorium.
Like the Salem News last week, the Globe chose to lead with the cuts to cafeteria workers' hours and benefits, but then moves on to the range of other cuts, which it quotes Superintendent Hayes as saying are "absolutely brutal." Hayes tells the Globe that "We have nothing good to cut, so it’s a choice between one distasteful option and another." and says that the budget process has been difficult in nearly all of his six years on the job, but "this year is the worst."
There is not much new information in here for those who have been following closely, and the story does not get to the heart of the effects of these cuts on the academic program or class sizes. But this is the first press report we have seen that comes close to showing the magnitude of what was cut, and is the best summary yet of everything that has been decided over the past few months.
This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.