Sports and staff could take a hit in Canton next year.
Facing an estimated $1.2 million shortfall, the Canton School Committee is looking to make some cuts to the fiscal year 2012 budget. The School Committee is looking to cut, or find money, for the gap in funds–and athletics and staff are two of the possible cuts that are being discussed by the district.
The School Committee discussed ways to meet the budget, including eliminating three athletic teams at the high school, or potentially makeing staffing cuts, to close the $1.2 million gap.
The board talked about the potential of cutting the golf, gymnastics and swim teams at CHS to reduce a $50,000 deficit the athletic department has been facing. Additionally,l the board discussed potentially raising the athletic fees from $125 to $150 per student.
“This is something no one wants to do,” Granatino said.
Canton High School Athletic Director Erickson spoke to the board about the possibility of cuts.
“I don’t stand her because I want to stand here,” Erickson noted.
He expressed to the board how significant sports are to the high school students at Canton High. “High school kids that play sports very much identify themselves as (an athlete,)” he stated.
The option of cutting programs and increasing student athletic fees could be a harsh reality for the school system, he stated.
Options the board discussed were making some of the sports teams intramural sports teams to save money, or reducing some freshmen teams.
“We want to convert programs rather than cut them,” Committee Member Elisabeth Salisbury said.
School Committee Chair Reuki Schutt stated how difficult it is to be faced with the task of making cuts. “These are really hard things to be working with,” she said.
The superintendent said the every cut to a school budget is painful, “but in the classroom it’s even more painful. That’s the last place we want to burden folks,” Granatino said.
Schutt stated that the committee knows there is "not another nickel out there," and would never make a movement to seek additional funds. "Our intention all along was to make these cuts," she said.
"It looks as though we've got some layoffs," the chair grimly noted.
Schutt stated that the School Committee will be working over the next several weeks to meet their expected budgets and make the necessary changes.
The School Committee made no decisions, but will continue budget talks at the next School Committee meeting on March 31 at 7:00 p.m. A public hearing on the budget is schedule for April 7.