Budget Cuts Raise Staffing Concerns

Budget Cuts Raise Staffing Concerns

Chris Price, Staff Writer

The pandemic isn’t the only reason why Stamford Public Schools may look different next year. Due to the massive budget cut made by the Board of Finance, the loss of staff and services is unavoidable. The SEA Executive Board held meetings on Thursday, May 28 and Monday, June 1 to further discuss that the Board of Finance has voted to decrease the Board of Education’s budget by approximately $15 million. 

COVID-19 has caused millions of people around the U.S to be out of work. Due to many people not being able to work, the Finance  Board is promised taxpayers to keep the mill rate flat, which means taxes will not be raised. This means that the city and school budgets can not increase due to the fact that the funding will remain the same. 

This is not good news for Stamford Public Schools employees. Either they agree to a 3-year pay freeze or multiple jobs will be cut. A lot of people are wondering where these cuts will be made. The budget cut will mostly target wages and salaries, which means potential layoffs. In the list of potential reductions released last month, 200 positions were proposed to be cut completely, including 13 reading teachers, 12 classroom teachers, 10 administrative interns and 30 para-professionals, among others. 

Teachers contend that other projects can be put on hold in order to keep this money, like the demolition of the old police station. The cost of the demolition became a rallying cry for teachers to try and convince the Board of Finance to change its mind about holding the school budget at the same amount in the coming year as it is now. 

On Wednesday, Lucero said that list of 200 proposed positions has been reduced by 50 in her latest suggested appropriations. She also said that they were working on a more detailed list and told the Stamford Advocate, “our goal is to have the least amount of impact on our classroom.”