AUBURN – The School Committee will consider cutting 17 teachers, some support staff and several after-school activities to reduce its budget by $1.4 million.

The committee will meet with the City Council at 5 p.m. Monday, May 24, in council chambers to discuss possible cuts.

Superintendent Barbara Eretzian said the cuts would likely include eight teachers at the high school, two at the middle school and four at the elementary school.

School leaders would also look at cutting two special education teachers, one English as a second language teacher, one high school custodian, three full-time secretaries and two part-time secretaries.

Edward Little High School would lose its lacrosse team, while the middle school and elementary schools would lose after-school activities. An elementary guidance counselor’s hours would be cut. All departments would have to trim 3 percent from their budgets.

The proposed cuts come days after the City Council said it didn’t want any tax increase next year. The School Committee recently approved a $31.2 million budget that would add 91 cents to the city’s $29.38 property tax rate, or another $91 a year in taxes on a $100,000 property.

The school budget cuts would affect Carolyn Takahara, a part-time foreign language teacher who was told Monday that she could lose her job. She has spent the past eight years teaching French to the city’s 1,000 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.

Her $21,800 salary is on the chopping block. She is the only one who teaches the elementary French program.

“I just think the children of Auburn are going to be deprived of the workings of a foreign language,” she said. “It’s too bad.”

The City Council has the power to cut the school system’s budget, but only the School Committee can say where those cuts can be made.


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