Middle School library media specialist position restored to full-time

June 19, 2024 By Carol Britton Meyer

The Middle School library media specialist hours that were reduced earlier to help meet the deficit in the HMS FY25 budget were restored Monday night by the School Committee upon the recommendation of Supt. of Schools Margaret Adams.

The position was initially reduced to half-time from full-time but is once again fulltime.

“The $560,000 in additional funding allocated to the schools at the [April 24] Town Meeting will fund the recall of this position [at a cost of $39,417],” Adams said.

As background, a motion was made on the floor of Town Meeting to transfer $2 million from the town’s fund balance to increase the Hingham Public Schools FY25 budget.

However, as mentioned on the floor of Town Meeting, as part of the School Committee’s agreement under the Memorandum Of Understanding with the Select Board, Advisory Committee, town administrator and superintendent of schools, the agreement stipulates that increases in out-of-district tuition costs for special education students would be paid by using the fund balance if the school budget could not support these costs. With the $2 million increase, HPS was able to fund that $1.44 million in tuitions.

The premise for that allocation, according to several members of the Select Board and Advisory Committee and the town administrator and assistant town administrator, was that under the terms of the MOU, the tuitions must be funded from the additional $2 million approved at TM — leaving about $562,000  for the School Committee to allocate to other budget priorities.

According to Adams, the remaining amount was allotted “to close gaps in the FY25 budget as a result of the pending approved contractual bargaining agreements” as follows:

⦁     $70,000 for Unit D (administrative assistants) increase in salaries
⦁     $400,000 for Unit B (paraprofessionals) increase in the per-unit salary
⦁      $39,417 for the recall of the Middle School library position
⦁      $50,000 increase in stipends for clubs and coaches in year two of the contract from the budgeted 3% to 3.5%.

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