AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee said they were dealing with a nearly $1 million budget gap. A budget gap they closed by eliminating 16 positions.
They say they also had to trim the cost of some departments, including high school English, math, science, social studies, and world language, among others. They removed both the high school and middle school assistant principles, along with a handful of other full time positions.
Kathleen Traphagen, the Co-Chair of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, told 22News a recent decrease in state aid was a big contributing factor to the cuts. She said, “State aid was 50% of our budget, now it’s about a third. So with the driving factor in our deficit is the reduction in state aid over time.”
Susan Mattina of Amherst said, “I would prefer them cutting administrators over programs, because the programs are really valuable.”
Traphagen added that out-of-district tuition is also an issue now. Whenever a student leaves to attend a vocational or charter school, they take a chunk of money with them. And according to the budget report, the price is expected to rise about $540 thousand.
We tried to get a hold of the superintendent’s office, and both school principles. They haven’t returned our calls but we will follow-up when they do.