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Committee to find possible future budget cuts in Salem schools formed

Posted by Sean Teehan  November 12, 2010 09:29 AM

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Salem's Superintendent of Schools appointed Nancy Harrington, former Salem State president, to lead a committee charged with finding possible cost cutting options in Salem public schools.

Over the next few months, Harrington, along with current and retired school administrators, parents, and others on the committee plan to investigate Salem facilities and student needs, said William Cameron, Salem's Superintendent of Schools.

"The main point is to take a broader view of what our facilities are so we can make informed judgments," Cameron said.

Cameron charged the committee with focusing on budgetary concerns the school could face in the next few years with possible budget cuts looming ahead, Cameron said.

The district already plans renovations on Collins Middle School and the Saltonstall School, and needs to examine "the space that's available for educational purposes and the needs of the district," Cameron said. "I'm concerned that when we look at long term plans for the district that we not mistake what our needs are."

Cameron denied a suggestion in a Salem State Log  article that the Horace Mann Laboratory School's fate is ambiguous. The elementary school is partially funded by Salem State University.

"I don't have any thought of closing [Horace Mann] in the foreseeable future nor do I see the closing of any school in the foreseeable future," Cameron said. "I may be disabused of this based on" the committee's findings, he added.

Cameron expects the committee's findings by the end of December, when they will then, most likely, go in front of the school committee, he said.

Harrington was unavailable for comment.

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