To the editor:
Last week at the budget presentation to the Finance Committee, the Ipswich school superintendent and a School Committee member delivered a reprise of the same song we have heard in previous years.
The superintendent reiterated that actual staffing cuts had been made over the past five budget years, but was unable to provide a list of proposed cuts at the beginning of the budget process compared to the actual cuts for years 2007 to 2011.
A School Committee member commented: "The perception that (the) School Committee threatens the public with cuts during the budget season only to add them back before the school year is just ignoring the facts."
Can our perception be otherwise? Last year, the superintendent also reported that eight to 10 actual teaching positions had been cut and several programs eliminated. We conducted an analysis comparing names on the current listing (by school) of teachers with that of previous periods, noting any additions or removals. This investigation indicated that no actual cuts had been made, but positions had actually been added to the roster.
At that time, we wrote a letter suggesting that the referenced cuts may have only been proposed in the budget rather than actual. It was recommended that we reconsider our letter and request an explanation from the superintendent, which we did.
No supporting facts were produced then, either.