School Committee Meeting 6/1

On May 31, the school committee met to continue the discussion of budget cuts. The city has been trying to create a balanced budget since December of 2015. To start the meeting, any willing person was allowed 3-5 minutes to state their opinions on the topic.

In the public comments, a number of concerns were expressed. The president of the Malden Education Association, Bonnie Page, thanked the committee and stated that we “need everybody from top to bottom, door to door.” A number of people stated their concern for the student to faculty ration, pointing out that while the student population is always increasing, the faculty is decreasing annually. While the public seemed extremely opposed to cutting any faculty around the Malden schools, Superintendent David DeRousi asked, if the city does not cut a classroom teacher or a clerk, “then who? what?” DeRousi continued to say that this money is not something that could be made through bake sales and fundraisers, sacrifices must be made.

When asked if the assistant superintendent who is moving will be replaced, DeRousi claimed that with a new superintendent coming into office, they would need the help of an assistant in order to maintain the efficiency and should focus on education, not working in a “crumbling infrastructure.” Everything in the budget is intertwined, and no matter where cuts are made, someone will have to pick up the slack. Mayor Christenson stated that if anyone were to have concerns regarding the budget, they may go to and visit the expenses page. He continued to say that “the only way forward [is to] work together.”

Once voting began, a number of decisions were made. For one, in the Parent Information Center, one position would be cut, and replaced by 3 part time positions. They considered cutting one of the Malden High School house principals but it was voted against because with Principal Dana Brown leaving, they decided the new principal would need as much faculty help as possible. The idea of cutting one of the assistant principals was not entertained, as nobody made a motion for it to be discussed, let alone voted for or against. Cutting 2 custodians was voted against, because they felt that the sanitation of schools is vital. The council also voted against the cutting of a MHS business teacher and school clerks. The council voted yes on local transportation such as school buses, a nursing supervisor, a buildings and grounds manager, a business clerk and decided that a number of resignations around the city will not be replaced. Principals and non-union faculty will receive a 0% pay increase next year.

Although not enough cuts were decided to have a balanced budget, the topic will continue to be discussed and debated about, and the next meeting will be on Monday, June 6, at City Hall.

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