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Westfield Faces School Budget Deficit

Westfield(WESTFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–The city of Westfield is looking at a budget deficit for its schools.

Mayor Daniel Knapik says no matter how you slice and dice, the city is looking at a shortfall,”So if we went with the governor’s numbers it would be about half a million short and if we went with the house numbers it would be about 800-thousand,” says Knapik.

At the school department, Superintendent Suzanne Scallion  is already preparing contingency plans for a reduction in state money,”So we’ll probably be prepared to make a half million dollar cut and a full million dollar cut depending on what happens in the next couple of months,”says Scallion.

With a potential shortfall of at least half a million dollars, a number of options are on the table in the school department,”So we’re looking carefully at our attrition numbers, we’re looking at any possibility of combining positions, I’m very reluctant to increase class size, but that’s on the table as well,” says Scallion.

Mayor Knapik says besides the school shortfall, the  city faces a 236-thousand dollar deficit.

He doesn’t expect layoffs there but there are no guarantees for the schools,”There might end up being layoffs, it’s a little bit premature, but if there are, we’re obligated to follow collective bargaining agreements,” says Knapik.


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