Newton School Committee on cuts pending budget override


Nika Jayanth, News editor

Extensive cuts to reduce the $6 to $8 million budget gap, including limiting the supply of school-issued devices to high school students, were discussed during a Newton School Committee meeting held Monday, Jan. 23.

Administrators presented potential outcomes pending the upcoming vote on the budget override. The School Committee meeting, headed by Interim Superintendent Kathleen Smith, detailed the cuts to be made if the override is not approved by local voters during a city-wide election Tuesday, March 14.

Fewer funds would be allocated towards NPS technology devices and software, reducing the one device per child program in elementary school and to high school upperclassmen.

Money designated to all clubs, theater, athletic and music programs would be reduced. Fewer funds would be allocated to school transportation, making it less accessible. 

According to Smith, approximately 50 educator positions are projected to be cut, resulting in increased caseloads and class sizes, decreased elective options, and reductions to academic and social-emotional support systems. With enrollment projected to rise at North, the extent of teacher cuts at this school remains uncertain.

If the override is approved, NPS can “remain a premier school district providing every student with a personalized learning experience, a strong and engaging academic program with challenging classes and coursework, robust and meaningful mental health supports, and readily accessible technology,” added Smith.

With passage of the override, the budget gap will be significantly lower at $2 to $4 million, but there will likely be additional fee revenue and reductions to close it.