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Budget cuts could have detrimental effect on WA

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Budget cuts could have detrimental effect on WA

The school may be forced to make budget cuts that would affect WA

The school may be forced to make budget cuts that would affect WA

The school may be forced to make budget cuts that would affect WA

The school may be forced to make budget cuts that would affect WA

Heather Vaughan, Staff Writer

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Recently the Westford School Committee has been discussing the budget for the next fiscal year. The town has proposed a budget for the schools that is 1.2 million dollars less than what the school committee has requested.

The school committee had requested 2.7 million dollars in new funding over last year; however, the town’s proposed incremental budget for the school system is only 880 thousand dollars or 1.2 million dollars less than requested. In order to meet the new budget, the school committee will be required to make some cuts, unless additional funds are allocated, which I don’t believe will be good for the school.

These cuts will affect the entire Westford public school system, and many of these cuts will be felt at Westford Academy. I believe these problems will negatively affect many students at WA. These cuts could affect the later start time, the Challenge Success program, substitute teachers, and the student club activities fee. The 530 thousand dollar override for the teacher salaries has already been approved, and is not affected by these cuts.

Westford’s School Committee has been discussing making the school start time later for all students in the district. Instead of high school and middle school starting at 7:35, it would start at 8:00 to allow high school and middle school students in particular to maintain a healthier sleep schedule. I believe this would have been a good idea; however, because of the budget cuts for this year, the school might be forced to postpone pushing back the start time of school. Since it would require more buses, the school may decide not to act on this, saving 148 thousand dollars. They have stated that this proposal is off the table for next year due to the budget.

The Challenge Success program could also be on the chopping block. The program will continue, however, it will eliminate the end of year feedback survey used to improve the program, saving another 15 thousand dollars. I think that this survey is crucial to the program to know if it is helping students, and should not be cut.

In addition, the school could raise the student activity fee. Last year, the activity fee was increased from 50 dollars to 60 dollars. This year, in light of the new budget, the fee may be increased from 60 dollars to 100 dollars. This could free up 40 thousand dollars for the school.

I feel that this may deter some students from joining in school activities. The many clubs are so that students can try new activities and find out what they like to do, and I believe that if the activity fee is raised, students may be dissuaded from joining and taking advantage of the many opportunities available at WA.

Lastly, WA may reduce substitute teacher coverage, forcing students to study independently in the library, or complete work from their teacher on google classroom. This would save another 15 thousand dollars. I think that this may result in students not doing the work that they are supposed to be doing during the time since there is no substitute teacher to keep students on task.

There are many other possible cuts that could be made, such as reducing one full-time teacher at WA, and eliminating the WA entrepreneur partnership with Babson College.

In total, the proposed cuts across the district would reduce the proposed budget by 1,247,304 dollars. I believe these cuts would not benefit the school; however, the school may not have a choice. 

 

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About the Writer
Heather Vaughan, Staff Writer

My name is Heather Vaughan and I am a freshman at Westford Academy. I like writing, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. This...

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Budget cuts could have detrimental effect on WA