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Sudbury to lay off teachers

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor May 2, 2008 01:51 PM

The Sudbury school system will lay off 13 teachers and 18 others as part of budget cutbacks announced Friday, reflecting the hard budget times facing the wealthy town after voters there rejected a property tax increase.

The layoffs only affect the Sudbury K-8 Public School System. The Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School District has its own tightened budget forthcoming that will result in about 10 teacher and staff layoffs.

The budget for the K-8 schools also comes with heavily increased student fees. Busing will go from $225 for a single student or $350 per family this year to $350 for an individual student or $650 per family next year. Sports fees will also jump. The "first sport" fee will go from $125 to $195. Additional sports will then rise from $75 to $95.

"This is a challenging time for the staff in our schools. Some have been told they will not return next year," said Sudbury school committee chairwoman Susan Iuliano. "All are working diligently and professionally to plan for next year and will continue to do so."

The school system knew cuts were coming after residents voted down two property tax overrides, one for $1.8 million and another for $2.8 million, on March 31. At town meeting in April, voted approved a $27.02 million budget for Sudbury K-8 schools, just $13,000 more than this year's budget.

"While disappointed, I was not surprised by the result," Superintendent John Brackett told parents in a newsletter sent home. "I heard the comments being made; from those who believed the schools needed to act more like private business and 'tighten the belt in these times,' and comments from parents who just felt they could not vote 'yes' one more time, and those who focused on the economic and operational aspects of Sudbury Public Schools and Lincoln-Sudbury, not on the quality, outcomes or products."

With the budget in hand, Brackett announced to the community that the full-time equivalent of 22 positions would be eliminated, including laying off 13 teachers and 18 full or part-time assistant, secretarial and maintenance staff. Sudbury currently has 168 total teachers in the district.

Brackett promises to press on in spite of the tough times.

"It will be different next year. We will not be doing some things we've done in the past, but school will open on September 4th, kids will come to school with smiles and high hopes, and there will be a very professional staff of educators here to greet them," he said. "You will hear no excuses. While we will not be doing some things we have done in the past, we will maintain high expectations for students and staff."

-- John Guilfoil

13 comments so far...
  1. Any administrators being laid off?

    Posted by Alan May 2, 08 05:12 PM
  1. Plenty of fat in Sudbury, but they always cut schools first cuz that's all anyone cares about. $185K school superintendent still there. Taxes only up 2.5%. Government never ceases to grow.

    Posted by Homer May 2, 08 06:02 PM
  1. Why can't the Sudbury executive branch laid off some overpaid administrators in various departments. I believe a lot of them are overpaid positions that can be trimmed. We, tax payer, should have a revote

    Posted by NewtonResident May 2, 08 06:51 PM
  1. those Moonbats put 'Coupe Deval' in office ...worse things to come from the absent guv,,

    Posted by KBS May 2, 08 07:29 PM
  1. Any administrators being laid off?
    Great question, and I'm sure the answer is no. Always cut the teachers, the music program, the sports. Same old nonsense. Could probably save some serious cash by eliminating those vice vice vice principals.

    Posted by Andy May 2, 08 07:39 PM
  1. why not lay off some of the janitorial staff most of them are no shows anyway.

    Posted by bill May 2, 08 07:49 PM
  1. How can level funding (plus fee increases) result in the loss of 31 positions?

    Posted by Howard May 2, 08 07:49 PM
  1. Sudbury has the highest property taxes in the area. Why can towns like Weston and Wellesley manage When Sudbury can't? this is getting a little absurd. Where are my taxes going?

    Posted by Berk May 2, 08 08:07 PM
  1. What the article doesn't cover is that the majority of 'layoffs' are coming from teachers who are choosing to retire or leave the system to pursue other activities. Sure they will not be replaced, but in a system as large as Sudbury it is a very small percentage of teachers.

    Also note that the system will have a larger budget than they did in 2008... this is bc the cost of labor and negotiated benefits are too large for a residential town like Sudbury to handle.

    It is time to open the teacher's union and pay 'fair market'. The best teachers would then earn the most!

    Posted by Chris May 2, 08 08:34 PM
  1. It makes sense - the school budget makes up most of the towns budget.
    The luxurious benefits that teachers get (and probably most town workers)
    makes them highly visible expenses. Sudbury's schools have never been that
    good anyway, so maybe it's time to revamp their administration and standards.

    Posted by John May 2, 08 10:17 PM
  1. School systems in our beloved Commonwealth are top heavy in administrators, especially at central office. Also, parents have to accept that maybe they cannot have all the amenities they want. It is unbelievable what some public schools have as extras. Think: hockey rinks, swimming pools, planetariums.

    Posted by Carol May 2, 08 10:31 PM
  1. As a Sudbury resident, I know that zero administrators are being laid off. Why? Because the admins control the budget!

    Posted by Ron May 2, 08 11:43 PM
  1. Does anyone know who or what paid the expenses for L-S's six-person team to attend the National Ocean Science Bowl in Alaska?

    Posted by Bill M May 3, 08 04:53 PM
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