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Northampton school board meets on budget, superintendent search

The school department has proposed a $28.17 million budget to maintain the same level of services in fiscal 2014 when fixed costs such as collective bargaining agreements and special education services are factored in.

With no expected increase in city funding of $24 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and $69,000 anticipated in state Chapter 70 aid, the projected budget shortfall is $1.475 million. This has led the school department to consider cutting 30 teaching positions, ending busing to Northampton High School, raising athletics and school meal fees, and eliminating the director of academic effectiveness position.

The School Committee is scheduled to vote on a budget for 2014 to present to City Council at its March 28 meeting.

Also on tonight’s agenda, members will be asked to accept the resignation of Superintendent Brian Salzer, who has announced plans to leave the district July 31 to take a new job as principal of an international high school in Germany.

Board members will discuss whether an interim schools chief will be hired and what the search process for new superintendent will look like.

Salzer has been head of the city schools for less than two years. He was hired in 2011 to replace Isabelina Rodriguez, who left Northampton to take a job as schools chief in Granby.

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