EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 9, 2013

Committee to eye $650K deficit

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson is expected to present his recommendation on how to close a $650,000 budget deficit at tonight's School Committee meeting.

The committee is scheduled to meet at 6 at Town Hall. A couple of weeks ago, Hutchinson told the board about the fiscal shortfall, most of which occurred in the special education program.

The tuition costs of out-of-district placements for special education students caused the deficit, according to both Hutchinson and School Business Administrator James Mealey. The unanticipated budget problem forced the administration to issue layoff notices to six teachers, Hutchinson said.

It has been several years since North Andover laid off any teachers and School Committee members have made it clear they do not want to take that step.

Hutchinson said last week he will present his recommendation on the latest fiscal challenge tonight.

Coincidentally, the School Committee is also scheduled to vote on Hutchinson's evaluation and his contract tonight. Hutchinson began his tenure as superintendent July 1 after serving as assistant superintendent for three years.