City Council Blindsides School Dept. with Multi-Million Dollar Cut
Just when it seemed to be over, the New Bedford City Council has slashed $4-million from the School Department's Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
Councilor at Large John Saunders proposed the $4-million cut as a way to keep the department's expenditures under control until it was clear more funding was necessary.
Saunders says the Council has provided the school department with nearly $6-million in extra funds over the past fiscal year, with much of it being misspent on raises and new hires instead of books and other necessities.
Mayor Jon Mitchell says the vote is extremely disappointing. He tells WBSM News the school budget is already funded at the state's minimum requirement.
Mitchell says it's entirely possible the City could face penalties for underfunding the school budget.
The Council's vote to cut the school budget stood at 8-2, with Ward 3 Councilor Henry Bousquet and Ward 6 Councilor Joe Lopes voting against the cut.
The Mayor's entire budget was cut by nearly $5-million, and now stands just under $258-million.