The School Committee will hold a Finance meeting tonight, followed by a meeting of its Committee of the Whole, where we hope to find out some more concrete information on where things stand with the FY12 budget. While all expect it to be another tough budget, no public announcement has been made as to what size gap the district is looking at. Much of the recent budget news has centered around closing the $400,000 gap in the current year's budget.
The meeting will be held at the Memorial Building, room 164. Finance begins at 6:30; COTW at 7:30. In addition to budget, there will be discussion of the status of the high school's accreditation, and talk of the shortage of Kindergarten space at North Beverly, according to School Committee President Annemarie Cesa. This latter subject was highlighted at last week's meeting when 16 North Beverly parents who had been rejected for kindergarten placement there, made a presentation to the Committee asking them to reconsider, and add another kindergarten classroom at the school. The parents had been told they need to choose another school.
As is often the case at this time of year, many rumors of more specific plans to deal with the budget are swirling around, fed somewhat we assume, by some of the questions in the recent survey. But at this time, we have heard no confirmation of any major restructuring proposals on the table for this year.
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.