Marlborough cuts fifth grade band, orchestra from budget

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Marlborough cuts fifth grade band, orchestra from budget
The Marlborough School Committee cut the band and orchestra program for K-5 students.

MARLBOROUGH – The city’s schools will be going into the 2024-25 school year with fewer administrators and teachers, and no band and orchestra program for fifth grade students.

During the meeting on May 28, the School Committee trimmed nearly $850,000 from its 2025 fiscal year budget.

On the recommendations of Superintendent Mary Murphy, the cuts will include three full-time administrative positions (K-12 supervisors); six full-time teaching positions at the high school; a support position (hall monitor) at the high school; and the fifth grade band and orchestra program (eliminates two full-time positions).

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General music classes will still be available for kindergarten through fifth grade.

Two positions at Goodnow Elementary School – an assistant principal and nurse – will be paid through two positions – an administrator and a teacher who had resigned – that will remain unfilled.

In addition,  Marlborough Public Schools will seek further reductions by ordering fewer supplies.

“I hope they’re not forever decisions,” said Murphy.

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Later in the meeting, the School Committee approved the adjusted 2025 fiscal year budget of $75,775,874, which is still 5.2% above the budget for fiscal 2024.

Committee members and the chairman, Mayor J. Christian Dumais, credited a collaborative effort for finding and making the cuts.

“It’s not just a mayor’s show. It’s a group effort,” said Dumais.

The committee approved the budget while still negotiating several contracts, including the paraprofessionals and Unit B administrators.

The School Committee did approve one contact on May 28 – a new three-year deal with the Marlborough Educators Association.

Clarification: This is an updated version of the story that was published online June 5. It had been reported during the School Committee meeting that the K-5 band and orchestra program would be cut. The school district later clarified to the  Community Advocate that this will only affect fifth grade orchestra and band.

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