(Editor's Note: In this article and others to follow, North Adams Community Schools officials will explain why they are seeking approval of a $1.25 million funding increase from taxpayers. The newspaper welcomes all comments on this issue. Please address them to: Referendum Peoples Voice.)
The North Adams Community School Board has determined it cannot carry out its public education duty unless it seeks a $1.25 million referendum, which will be on the May 2011 primary ballot. This is a first in a series of articles to describe the reasons North Adams Community Schools decided to take this action.
The school district’s vision is to be committed to the high level of achievement and continue to provide the great teachers, staff, and programming in order that the North Adams students continue to achieve their high levels of excellence. Programs such as BHS Early College, multiple Dual Credit options, Project Lead the Way Engineering, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and nutritional year-round Food Service are just a few of the many North Adams programs that support quality learning for all students.
There is a growing concern that these programs will not stay at the same levels due to the state funding shortfall. Over $2 million has already been cut from the North Adams General Fund and over 40 North Adams personnel positions have been eliminated.
It is essential to continually review our practices to reduce expenditures. These include efficiently and effectively utilize all available resources to insure student success. This process includes:
• Review alignment of staff and make revisions as needed.
• Continue to evaluate positions and eliminate them where required.
• Evaluate and identify areas of consolidation.
• Reduce corporation insurance premium obligations.
The student enrollment is continually monitored and reduction in force is followed as necessary. Determining how to allocate money is continually scrutinized for the most efficient and effective results. Our school district is committed to our students and community. The school budget is made up of funds that have designated areas of expenditures.
The next article in this series will describe those funds.
Direct questions to North Adams Community Schools, Wylie Sirk, Superintendent at 724-7146 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.