From the Globe:
Dozens of teaching jobs have been cut from public school districts in area communities, forcing school closings, reassignment of students, and larger class sizes this fall. “It’ll be a whole new ballgame,” said the Saugus school district’s superintendent, Keith Manville. “It has to be. We just don’t have the money we need.” Said Newburyport Superintendent Kevin Lyons, “Our budget was stripped out . . . The only place we could look to make up the [deficit] was the teachers.”
Newburyport cut 34 teaching jobs. Saugus is prepared to lay off 26 when the School Committee meets July 19. Other communities losing teachers include Haverhill, with 21 positions cut; Gloucester, 20; Hamilton-Wenham Regional, 17; Swampscott 15.3; and Amesbury, 12.4, according to local school districts.
A lack of state and local education funds, along with soaring special education, healthcare and labor costs, are cited as the primary causes for the millions of dollars in reduced spending in the budgets that took effect last Sunday, the start of the new fiscal year. Some fault the state’s funding formula to distribute education aid.
Ugh. Look, some will no doubt say that the munis could work harder to contain their own costs (over to you, gary), and perhaps that’s true. But I just don’t believe that’s the whole story. Overrides are failing in droves because people are sick of hiking their own property taxes beyond all reason, and the result is Stoneham eliminating athletics and scads of districts eliminating teachers. This is a death spiral, and it has got to stop.
Hey, wouldn’t it be great if someone started looking for creative ways for municipalities to bring in some more revenue? Oh, wait …