An Update for BPS Families

 June 11, 2020

Dear BPS Community,

It is with great disappointment that we share the district was forced to send layoff notices to 24 teachers today.

No aspect of our lives has been untouched by the impacts of the pandemic, and that includes state and municipal finances. Our district relies heavily on state funds, known as Chapter 70 funding, to build its budget each year. Unfortunately, the state could not provide our district and districts all across Massachusetts with the information we needed to build our budgets in time to avoid sending layoff notices. Preparing a budget without a Chapter 70 figure is like trying to prepare a household budget without knowing your income.

Every district is required by the state to provide teachers with layoff notices no later than June 15. When it became clear earlier this spring that the state would not be able to provide us with a Chapter 70 figure ahead of our district’s May 15 deadline for notices, Kim Gibson and the leadership of the Brockton Education Association agreed to push our district’s deadline back to June 12. Had we not pushed the deadline back, we would have been forced to send out hundreds of layoff notices.

The School Committee, Brockton Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Aldo Petronio and City of Brockton Chief Financial Officer Troy Clarkson worked together for weeks to prepare a preliminary budget that was conservative but that kept layoffs to an absolute minimum.

Facing a projected budget shortfall of $24 million, the district was able to fill gaps by finding savings wherever possible and by eliminating an additional 105 positions mainly through retirements and by choosing not to fill existing job openings. Even with these moves, we were forced to send layoff notices today.

It is our sincere hope that we will be able to bring back as many of our colleagues as possible once we receive a Chapter 70 figure. Our legislative delegation is committed to advocating on our behalf and we have spent hours on the phone with them over the last three months discussing our district’s needs. We are also not giving up on the Student Opportunity Act and we will keep fighting for those long overdue funds. Our students, our teaching staff and our entire community deserve better.

We will do everything we can to provide updates to our school community as new information becomes available.

Thank you,

Mayor Robert F. Sullivan

Chair of the Brockton School Committee

Mark D’Agostino

Vice Chair of the Brockton School Committee

Michael Thomas

Superintendent of Schools