Superintendent: ‘Barebones’ budget is forcing layoffs

One hundred and fifty-two tenured Everett schoolteachers will be receiving pink slips as a result of a lack of funding from the city and the state in the creation of the coming year’s school budget.

The proposed school budget for the upcoming year is $51,604,260.

This does not include an additional $3 million budgeted for Special Education Transportation.

The budget was not approved Monday evening as it requires a public hearing before school committee approval can be accomplished.

It is expected that a May 17 public hearing will be held. Passage of the School year 2011 operating budget will then be passed.

According to school department and school committee officials, rising expenses and falling funding sources are combining to far outdistance the city of Everett’s ability to pay for its full compliment of teachers, programs and general maintenance and upkeep.

The 250 possible layoffs are odious, said School Superintendent Fred Foresteire.

“It is as barebones a budget as I can recall in years,” he said. “The less money we receive the less money we have to operate. Next year, we are being asked to operate with less money than the year before. With fixed costs rising and with reimbursements from the state smaller, we are being left to scramble.”

In addition to the 152 teachers set to receive pink slips, 50 substitute teachers, five clerical staff, six technicians, seven custodians and 24 teachers’ aids will also receive pink slips.

“Our only hope to hire them back is for added Stimulus funding sent to us fro the Federal government and from the State,” Foresteire said.

He said this year will be different from years past because of the declining fiscal situation.

“Not everyone receiving a pink slip will be laid off. Many of those who receive a pink slip will be hired back,” he added.

Foresteire estimated as many 30 people may lose their jobs when all is said and done.

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