The committee OK'd a level-funded budget of $17,769,075 on a vote of 5-2 with members Tara Jacobs and Ian Bergeron voting against because of concerns that the budget did not address what they felt were deficiencies in the arts and special education.
This week, the news isn't quite so awful with the state committed to level-funding aid through at least the first two months of fiscal 2021. But the district isn't out of the woods yet, Superintendent Barbara Malkas told the committee on Tuesday.
School officials are bracing for a worst-case budget scenario that could mean the closure of one of the three elementary schools. At minimum, the district is anticipating reductions in positions. There's also the possibility of the reconfiguration of Brayton and Greylock schools.
The district has already been connecting with students from the early days of the closure through online platforms reading stories, providing resources and materials for Advanced Placement, calling students and offering music lessons through Google hangouts.
A preliminary budget with a 1.5 percent increase to maintain level services had already been presented. That's now off the table as schools are shuttered until at least May 4 — if not longer — and Beacon Hill had barely made headway with the fiscal 2021 spending plan before the spreading novel coronavirus put everyone on an emergency footing.
In collaboration with Child Care of the Berkshires, the North Adams Public Schools has been awarded $285,549 to create a new full-day pre-kindergarten program located at Brayton Elementary School, and to expand an existing program currently operated by Child Care of the Berkshires at Monument Square.