At the Financial Committee Meeting on Thursday February 13, a vote in favor of moving 400k from the town’s Free Cash to Westford Public Schools’ general fund passed.
Superintendent Bill Olsen had proposed a transfer of 400k dollars from the town’s Free Cash to be added to the school department’s general fund for FY20 with the intention that the money would be used for Special Education purposes. If added, the increased cost of the Special Education budget would be offset by this money. Without it, the school department would be forced to take money from the general fund to pay for the Special Education, which would lead to some teacher cuts.
Bill Olsen and other School Committee members, including chairwoman Avery Adam, attended the Financial Committee Meeting to advocate for the schools. School Committee members Gloria Miller and Sean Kelley were in the crowd; the other members were absent.
These funds are not enough to add new teachers, but they will minimize the amount of teachers that will be cut. These are cuts are projected to take place in the 20-21 school year. The school will now keep two more elementary teachers and a P.E teacher. The School Committee felt especially strong about keep elementary teachers because the class sizes at the elementary school would increase without them.
“There are several of grades including Day School grade three that are already at 22 and 23 [Students]. So we’re going to propose that additional said state aid be used for two elementary teachers,” Olsen said.