Durkin’s Budget Reduced By $4.4 Million, Mayor Still Thinks It’s Too High
Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin presented her revised budget proposal to the New Bedford School Committee Wednesday night during a budget workshop meeting.
Despite cutting out $4.4 million from her previous proposal, Mayor Jon Mitchell says the $120.4 million request is still more than the City can afford.
With little flexibility in the City's budget, he says more reductions could be likely.
"We're going to be making cuts to a number of departments and here in the school district, it won't mean cuts. What it will mean is that we won't be able to add all the things that we would like to add to the budget," Mitchell said after the meeting.
The Mayor doesn't see any layoffs coming, but new services in the proposed budget may need to be eliminated.
Services to be eliminated would include 12 additional English Learners Language teachers and full days of class on Fridays.
The $4.4 million reduction comes from a number of cutbacks, including the closing of Kempton Elementary School.
Dr. Durkin plans to combine the school with Rodman Elementary School, saving the School Department $235,741. No jobs will be lost due to the closing.
Barry Rabinovitch, the district's business manager, also "took out all funds that were not committed" to collective bargaining agreements involving district unions to eliminate $1,760,000 from the budget request.
Principals from all schools in the district also came up with a combined $177,784 in cuts to their own schools that won't affect children in the classroom.
The public is invited to attend the final budget hearing Monday night at 6:00 PM in the Keith Middle School auditorium.