Supt. Fred Foresteire this week said his administration doesn’t plan on returning to the City Council or City Hall to close up the remaining funding gap in this year’s school budget.
After a very contentious and crowded meeting at City Hall last Monday, Feb. 12, where the School Department often ran into conflict with the City Council and Administration, Foresteire said he had no need to repeat such a show. At that meeting, the School Department was looking to fill a mid-year budget gap of $7 million to avert layoffs of teachers and staff members in the schools. The Council granted $5 million to help stop layoffs, under a plan by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, but it left an additional $2 million needed to finish out the year (which ends June 30) without shortfalls.
Many have wondered how that might be resolved, and some figured the schools would be coming back to City Hall again for the remaining $2 million.
No way, said Foresteire.
“We’re not going back to the City Council,” he said. “I don’t see it happening. There was no need for what happened there last week. That was money they owed to us – $6 million. We weren’t up there begging for anything.”
Foresteire said they would use money from the School Revolving Account to make up about $1.5 million, and would rely on money not spent within the budget for the addition amount.
He clarified that for last week’s appropriation, he believed it was money owed to the schools – including a $3.48 million in Medicaid reimbursements that were agreed to be given to the schools earlier in the year. Other monies included special school funding procured from the state by Sen. Sal DiDomenico, he said, of about $1 million.
Late last week, a meeting by the various school unions, including the Everett Teacher’s Association, floated the idea of taking two furlough days to save approximately $600,000.
That plan is not on the table at all, Foresteire said.
“There is no intent to do that,” he said.