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What WHS stands to lose

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With the school district's first proposed overall budget reduction in decades, services and teachers at the High School are facing cuts and restructuring. (Credit: David Ryan & Jake Adelman/WSPN)

This article is the table of contents to a series on the proposed budget cuts for the next school year.

Recession, anyone? If there is anyone at Wayland High School who hasn’t yet felt the effects of our nation’s latest economic crisis, they won’t be able to say so next September. On December 7th, Superintendent Gary Burton announced a budget proposal, now available online, which would cut the district-wide school budget by 2.33%. The proposal is now in the hands of the Wayland School Committee, which is charged with amending, and then either approving or disapproving the budget by the end January.

These cuts would be the first to the education budget in three decades, yet it is important to note that they are not final. The School Committee will have the final say, but Wayland citizens with strong opinions to voice may do so at the Public Forum on Monday, January 4th, at 7PM in the Town Building.

Either way, it is clear cuts will have to be made. $1.19 million is the reduction the town’s Financial Committee has requested from the schools, and it is unlikely that this total sum will change dramatically. What exactly these cuts will be, however, is up for debate.

The current proposal was created largely by district administrators, who were asked by Burton to examine their schools and determine what they could and could not afford to lose. Wayland High will be the most severely affected if it is approved. Administrators made the decision to focus cuts on the high school because middle and elementary school programs have already taken severe hits in the past few years.

Community reaction ranged from understanding to outrage. “This is absolutely ridiculous,” one student commented on WSPN. “PLEASE rethink this,” commented another.

WSPN, in a special series, is taking a look at how exactly the cuts would affect the high school. What, and who, do we stand to lose? Are they necessary sacrifices, or sacrificed necessities?

Potential cuts in the English, Science, Latin, and guidance, and athletic departments are covered here. Math is not facing any cuts, besides the loss of the department secretary they share with English. An article on student response to cuts in the Arts department will also be posted shortly, but the teachers in that department were not yet comfortable speaking out.

This article is the table of contents to a series on proposed budget cuts:

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5 Responses to “What WHS stands to lose”

  1. Jeff Dieffenbach on December 23rd, 2009 10:51 AM

    Several corrections to the article above:

    = The town-wide cut being sought by the Finance Committee to avoid an override is $1.7M
    = The school share of this cut is $1.19M (70%)
    = The Finance Committee has added back $465k to cover known budget increases
    = The resulting school cut across the district is $725k (not $1.4M)
    = The percentage cuts at the Middle School and Loker are actually higher than at the High School

    Those are just the numbers. The School Committee appreciates that the proposed cuts across the district are necessary to avoid an override, but not in any way desirable. As the article states, the Committee will continue its budget deliberations at its January 4 forum and at subsequent meetings.

    The total budget amount is fixed. Restoring programs in one area requires cuts in another. The Committee welcomes thoughts and ideas from students on how best to make these cuts in a manner that least affects our educational offerings.

    Have a relaxing and well deserved break!

    Jeff Dieffenbach
    member, Wayland School Committee

    The comments above are mine alone, and do not necessarily represent the thoughts of other individual members or the Committee as a whole.


    Basil Reply:

    I remember Burton saying at the school committee meeting on the 7th that the high school is getting something like a 6% cut this year, while the middle school and elementary school cuts were well below 3%?


  2. Jeff Dieffenbach on December 26th, 2009 2:55 PM

    Proposed WHS cuts are 6.18%, compared with 7.77% at WMS, 7.1% at LO, and 1.1% at CH. The proposed increase at HH is 2.11%.

    Full budget details are available here:


    Basil Reply:

    Yea, but the only reason the middle school has a higher percentage is because the sixth graders are losing a cluster, so the comparison is not really applicable. So I think it is fair to say that the high school would be the most deeply affected.


  3. O. Levin on December 27th, 2009 4:04 PM

    What is Happy Hallow getting that it already does not have? Also next time a school board does something like this they should make it less drastic and not amongst the plans of a new school. As a sophomore my future looks very dim and antagonizing at the high school.


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The student news site of Wayland High School
What WHS stands to lose