By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Two school librarians who received layoff notices last month have been rehired.
The School Committee voted 4-1 last night to accept Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson’s recommendation that the librarians, who serve the elementary and high schools, be reinstated. The librarians, three reading teachers and some tutors were issued dismissals after the schools were hit by a deficit of more than $650,000.
Most of the shortfall occurred as a result of an increase in the number of students needing out-of-district placements, according to both Hutchinson and School Business Administrator James Mealey. The fiscal gap was discovered after the May 21 annual Town Meeting, at which the not-quite $40 million education budget was approved, school officials said.
The rehiring of the librarians is contingent upon the town receiving enough state aid to replenish the special education contingency fund, School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert said. Town Meeting approved a contingency fund of $150,000 to cover unforeseen special education costs.
Bringing back the two librarians will cost $135,000.
Laurie Burzlaff cast the only vote against the recommendation. She said she would have preferred a more “equitable” solution that retained some of the reading teachers and tutors.