On February 18th, I completed a summary of all of the consequences of the override passing versus failing on our middle and high schools -- you can refer to that posting to see that summary again. However, since the time of that posting, which was based on a 5% cut in local aid, the legislature has said we won't see worse than a 4% cut in local aid, so add about $80,000 in increased funds to the "worst case" scenarios if you refer to that summary. Similarly, I've listed the summary below as given to us on February 8th, and that is based on the 5% cut estimate, which has now been revised to no worse than 4% -- hence, we will add about $60,000 to the worst case scenarios I've listed below. Again, I'm not taking a position on the override -- I'm simply laying out the precise cuts so that residents of Amherst can understand what will -- and will not -- happen based on tomorrow's vote.
Current Staffing Projections for Next Year WITH and WITHOUT the Override Passing:
Administration - each school will have a principal, a school-year assistant principal, a head secretary, a school-year assistant secretary, a special education secretary (part-time - .6 to .7 at each school), and 3.5 to 4 custodians. If the override passes, each special education secretary goes to full-time.
Regular Education Teachers - each school will have between 17 and 22 classroom teachers, a full-time librarian, a music teacher (full-time at WW and FR, .8 at CF, which has fewer kids), a .60 instrumental music teacher, an art teacher (full-time at WW and FR, .6 at CF), a PE teacher (full-time at WW and FR, .6 at CF), guidance counselors (1 at CF, 1.5 at WW and FR), psychologist services (.6 to .7 at all of the schools), computer instruction (.2 at CF, .4 at WW and FR), a full-time nurse. If the override passes, we add an additional .5 in a psychologist to serve all schools, and there will be a .2 PE teacher dedicated to the CF preschool program.
ELL/Intervention - each school will have ELL teachers (3 to 4.5, depending on school needs), and ELA/Math intervention teachers (3 to 4.3 per school). If the override passes, there will be an additional .5 ELL teacher and an additional .6 intervention teacher to serve all the schools.
Special Education - each school will have academic teachers (3 to 3.5), speech language pathologists (1.4 to 1.8), an occupational therapist (.6 to .9), a full-time therapeutic teacher, and paraprofessionals (6 to 13). If the override passes, we will add a .7 academic teacher and 3.50 paraprofessionals.
Note: There are also dedicated programs for special populations at each school (preschool at CF, Building Blocks at FR, AIMS at WW) - staff for these programs are NOT included in the above totals, and will not be impacted by an override.
My Goal in Blogging
I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.