Sunday, March 1, 2015

About those budget cuts

I quickly posted the chart with a link to the memo on Friday (as I was writing my testimony for yesterday). In total, the cuts are $495,602 for the Worcester Public Schools. A few notes:

  • You may remember that back when these budget cuts were first announced, the Baker administration denied to T&G reporter Brad Petrishen that there would be any impact on Head Start. That surprised us. It also wasn't true: Our Head Start supplemental grant is getting a $51,030 cut. Also, see MassLive on this.
  • While we're talking about early childhood, the $47,500 cut in the Community Family and Community Engagement grant cuts an early literacy coordinator. The push on third grade reading? The push on early childhood education? Nope. Cut.
  • The biggest hit--and still in early childhood--is to the Quality Kindergarten Grant. That cut of $206,620 is the equivalent of 15 kindergarten instructional assistants for the rest of the year. This one you'll see turn up in our March 16 F&O meeting for the second quarter report. There's no magic answer on this one, 'though I don't think you'll see a recommendation that we cut IA's in March, either.
  • The work we're doing on improving the graduation rate? Cuts of the entire Summer College-Community Connection program ($99,587), the MCAS Summer camp ($55,365), the Collaboratieve Partnership for Student Success ($21,859), and nearly the whole College and Career Readiness program (we're left with $2628) are not going to help that at all.
  • Finally, we hear talk of innovative education, but even the innovation schools grant took a hit ($3128).
I get that the budget needs to be balanced, but every single one of these cuts is pennywise and pound foolish. You're creating expenses later with every single one of these cuts. 

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