Whitcomb Hirings OK'd as School Budget Gap Narrows
At the request of Mayor Arthur Vigeant, former City Auditor Barbara Durand is reviewing the 2012 school budget.
The School Committee has given the green light for hiring of teachers for the Whitcomb Middle School that will help keep classes from dramatically exceeding district standards.
The committee said positions for math, engineering and humanities teachers needed at Whitcomb can be posted and filled, but warned that doing so will mean that other cuts or revenue sources will need to be identified to close what is now an approximately $300,000 gap in the 2013 budget.
School officials had warned that class sizes at Whitomb could balloon to as high as 30 or 31 students if additional teachers were not hired.
The committee worried that delaying the approval further, until a July 26 meeting, would make it even more difficult to hire qualified teachers for the positions.
District Business Manager Adam Olivere said the recently signed 2013 state budget “has some good news” for Marlborough in it, including a fully funded circuit breaker account and funding for homeless student transportation.
Oivere said that with 21 teachers having retired or resigned in recent weeks, there may be savings realized as those positions are filled if the new hires have less experience.
While School Committee member Kathleen Hennessy raised the prospect of asking the City Council for additional funding, Mayor Arthur Vigeant said it was too early to explore that option. He also revealed that former City Auditor Barbara Durand was reviewing the 2012 budget and would make recommendations for streamlining the budget process going forward.