02-04-2011 09:35 AM #1
Boston Public Schools budget proposal would cut 250 positions
This from the Boston Globe by Akilah Johnson:
Boston public schools would close a $63 million shortfall by cutting about 250 positions and restructuring class-size averages, and will also use an infusion of city and federal funds, according to a proposed budget presented to the School Committee last night.
“It’s not perfect yet,’’ Superintendent Carol R. Johnson told the committee. “But, I think this budget is trying to begin a really intense effort to really focus on students. Not programs. Not schools. Not fancy logos.’’
The district’s proposed $829 million budget for the next school year also calls for a new way of distributing funds, giving the most money to schools that teach the students who traditionally are the most expensive to educate.
Schools would be funded on a per-student basis using a weighted formula that gives additional money for teaching students who come from poverty, who are learning English, or who have physical or learning disabilities. This means the school system’s three highly coveted exam schools, Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science, would receive the least money per student, according to district documents.
The new system is a more equitable way of funding education, school officials said.
“Every child with similar characteristics will have exactly the same resources no matter what school they attend, no matter what neighborhood they live in,’’ John McDonough, the school system’s chief financial officer, said before the meeting.
McDonough and Johnson said this is the first time since the economic crisis began that the district presented a balanced budget to the School Committee so soon. A series of public hearings is planned before the panel votes on the budget in March.