As the end of the school year rolls around for 2015, so does the new conversation on what the school budget will be for next fall. Unfortunately, the budget does not always work out Malden’s favor. A rising amount of costs for special education has hit a staggering amount, and the budget now, as of writing this, has a 600,000 dollar shortfall for Malden schools. This deficit could be forcing the schools to have up to 20 layoffs across the city.
If the budget does not change, a proposal that four elementary librarians will be cut off first. With the risk of more cuts, the plan seems to be that the council may cut off four middle school foreign language teachers, four secretaries, and possibly more.
Malden has already been given a 55.6 million dollar budget beginning July 1. However, the jump in special education costs has had a huge impact on the budget, especially since the district is paying for more and more students to study outside of Malden.
Currently, Malden pays 7.5 million dollars to send what is now 110 students with problems from autism to behavioral issues. This number had been only 69 students in past years, and the rise has truly affected the school budget in 2015. However, with reimbursements coming to a total from 1.4 million to 1.6 million dollars, it still falls far short of covering the money that has been used towards this cause.
Currently, there is a group of parents, students and teachers to represent the jobs that will be cut. On Tuesday, Jun. 2, there was about 50 people gathered outside of city hall holding signs that said “Fund Our Schools” in order to bring attention to the issue of our education.
As the government looks for places to gather funding, they continue to look into public work projects. One of these projects includes housing at the Malden Hospital site, which can possibly bring in tax revenue for the city. However, a final decision has not been made on where Malden Schools will get their funding, if at all.
There has not been a final calculation for next year’s budget, as there is still meetings being held to discuss the problem. Many hope that there will be some area that the council can find money to apply to Malden schools, although it is not likely it will cover all of the millions of dollars lost to the rise in costs.