10.6 Teaching Positions Hang in the Balance

On March 31 — six days from today — the School Committee is required by law to submit its finalized budget. As of today, 10.6 teaching positions are still on the line to be eliminated — including 2.4 positions from the High School and 4.8 positions from the Middle School.

With the School Committee deciding not to pursue an operational override, and funding from the state not expected to increase, there are now just two variables left that could change the number of positions due to be cut.

  1. The teachers’ union could vote to make concessions. Discussions with the School Committee are ongoing, and the number of positions, if any, such a move would affect is not publicly known. This is especially difficult since the teacher’s union contract is not open for negotiation this year.

  2. Last week, the Hamilton finance committee voted to change the percentage of the two towns’ combined contribution to the schools from a 2.0% increase to a 2.5% increase. If the Wenham finance committee, which meets tonight, decides to follow suit, some positions could be saved, though again the number is not publicly known.

These are both complicated issues that affect our towns, our public employees and our school children. We support our elected officials as they make these far-reaching decisions in difficult times.

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