School Committee Holds Hearing on $70.1 Million Budget Tonight

Haverhill Education Association President Joseph V. Cunha.

The Haverhill school committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing and take a final vote tonight on the district’s $70.1 million budget plan for the next school year.

The committee’s first order of business during tonight’s regular meeting is to accept public comments on the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. It represents a three percent increase over the current budget for, among others, negotiated salary increases and to carry forward a $500,000 deficit in special education spending. Two weeks ago, committee members gave tentative approval to the plan which also reflects an approximately $1 million reduction from an initial budget proposal.

As negotiations for a new union contract for teachers are ongoing, members of the Haverhill Education Association (HEA) are among those expected to speak during the public hearing. In recent weeks, HEA members gathered outside city hall prior to city council meetings to hold signs, which read “Haverhill Educators United” and “Fair Contract Now,” according to a spokesperson.

“Though negotiations with the school committee continue, little progress can be made without the city first finalizing its next budget, including allocations for the School Department and other city services. HEA President Joe Cunha addressed the School Committee at its May 14th meeting to invite the mayor and school committee to join the HEA they solicit the support of the city council in its fight to increase education spending in the City of Haverhill,” according to a union post online.

Formal approval by the committee would forward the new school budget plan, part of the mayor’s $168.6 million city budget proposal, to the city council for its own review session June 9. The budget is contingent on the city’s receipt of $2.4 million in state assistance to pay the former city-owned Hale Hospital debt.

The Haverhill school committee meets at 7 p.m., tonight, in city council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

2 thoughts on “School Committee Holds Hearing on $70.1 Million Budget Tonight

  1. Hey Mayor…how about just saying “NO” to an across the board pay raise for teachers!!!!!! How about agreeing to pay raises ONLY when they disband the teacher’s union and institute a performance based compensation program?
    Teacher unions do nothing but breed mediocrity !!! Why would a motivated, creative teacher work hard under a union system involving collective bargaining agreements when they get no more financial reward for that effort than a lazy, unmotivated teacher? It’s insanity!!

    • I agree with that one! Merit pay is the way to go…. reward the teachers who do a good job as an incentive to continue to perform, penalize the “hangers on” by not giving them a salary increase. That’s the way the real world works!