Westborough School Committee approves budget cuts

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By Jennifer L. Grybowski, Contributing Writer

Westborough – The Westborough School Committee made yet another round of budget cuts at their meeting May 13, bringing the total amount cut from the beginning of the process to over $1 million.

Superintendent Amber Bock recommended a reduction of $375,535 for a new base number of $54,705,161.

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“We are facing pretty serious revenue concerns over the next year and a half,” Bock said. “I think this is a number that we brought forward that is thoughtful and well-framed.”

The reductions include $128,195 in salaries and $247,340 in expenses.

Bock said regarding salary line items, she was seeking to lighting down the hiring profile to bring in less expensive staff in some positions as is possible, and defer the hiring of some positions later in the year.

Due to concerns the Town Meeting will be pushed back even further, the committee also discussed the benefits of submitting a 1/12th budget, as the rest of the town entities are doing to get through this time.

There was also discussion of how the budget might change if school does not open in the fall; for example, transportation costs would drop dramatically, but there might be a need for more technology services.

“I think we are going to be discussing this budget for a really long time,” committee member Kristen Vincent said.

Director of Curriculum & Assistant Superintendent Daniel Mayer agreed.

“We can’t do anything different,” he said. “We can’t look into a crystal ball and know when we go to school and therefore we don’t know how many days or months of credit we might get. It’s an impossible thing to know.”

The committee also voted to accept a $106,000 reduction to the kindergarten warrant article. There is extra funding in that account due to savings in consulting and electricity, Bock said, and the reduction would allow the district to hold funds in the kindergarten revolving fund to put against salaries for next year.