AUBURN — Auburn Middle School students will tweet about the proposed city and school budgets during the Community Conversations public forum at the school cafeteria Thursday, April 16.

To follow the tweets, the hashtag is #auburnforum.

The students’ tweeting “gives it an extra dimension,” Superintendent Katy Grondin said. “People who follow Twitter and can’t be there, this is a way to participate. If you want to watch the conversation, this will provide a live feed.”

Auburn students have attended events and tweeted. “They are very excited about the opportunity to participate and report out,” Grondin said.

The public form will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the proposed budgets for the 2015-16 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The City Council has told the School Committee to keep the budget at no more than a 1.8 percent increase in keeping with the city ordinance, which ties it to the cost of living.

Because of higher expenses in personnel and special education, it would mean reductions in other programs.

On March 25, the School Committee reluctantly approved a list of cuts that would eliminate at least 11 positions: five elementary library technicians, four school resource officers and French and Spanish teachers at Auburn Middle School. Other ways to save money included closing the Auburn Land Lab, providing less professional development, offering retirement incentives for up to 12 teachers and reducing facility maintenance and school supplies.

The changes are not finalized. The School Committee is scheduled to vote on the budget May 6, followed by the City Council vote.

The school budget referendum is Tuesday, June 9.


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