Greenfield school super: More cuts may follow

  • Greenfield Superintendent Jordana Harper at a Greenfield School Committee meeting earlier this year at the John Zon Community Center. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 5/29/2019 10:22:23 PM

GREENFIELD — Superintendent Jordana Harper is still planning cuts to the public schools although she’s working to limit the damage by dipping into the district’s savings. 

The cuts may increase class size, Harper said Wednesday, but she hopes it will preserve arts and music, which community members advocated for during the public budget process. 

Harper said her planto take care of the current $700,000 deficit from the Greenfield School Committee’s budget is to make about $350,000 in cuts and spend about $350,000 from revolving funds. 

Some teachers have already left the Greenfield Public Schools, Harper said, because of job security or higher-paying jobs elsewhere. 

Facing a $1.35 million difference between the Greenfield School Committee’s budget and the one proposed by Mayor William Martin, the City Council looked to fill the shortfall in its budget vote last week. 

With a short-handed council on the night of the vote, because of two illnesses, councilors acknowledged they no longer had enough votes to further raise taxes to give the schools what they wanted. Instead the council cut $700,000 from city departments to give to the schools.  

The council’s budget gave about $19.3 million to the Greenfield Public Schools, under its $20 million proposal and more than the mayor’s $18.6 million. 

Harper asked the School Committee Wednesday afternoon at a special meeting to authorize her to readjust the budget to meet this $19.3 million budget. 

Committee member Susan Hollins, the former superintendent, said she was OK with this on the merit that Harper follows committee policy to preserve the values of the schools. 

The vote was unanimous from the five committee members present for the midday meeting: Hollins, Chair Adrienne Nunez, Vice Chair Katie Caron, Treasurer Susan Eckstrom and new member Glenn Johnson. 

Harper offered an advisory comment after the quick vote, saying “there are difficult decisions to be made.” 

“If the aim is to follow every policy to a tee, then we need to be fully staffed and to do that we need to be fully funded,” Harper said. 

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264




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