Enrollment in Andover Public Schools has declined 12 percent over the past decade, prompting the school committee to consider some uncomfortable staffing cuts to balance its budget.
The committee will hold the next in a series of budget hearings on Thursday, and the Andover Education Association, the union that represents the district’s teachers and instructional assistants, is urging its members to attend and speak against layoffs the committee is considering to close a $2.7 million budget gap.
“Despite the School Committee’s willingness to FIGHT to secure $500 million to build a new high school, they’re back to caring about ‘fiscal responsibility’ when it pertains to students and staff,” AEA said in a Facebook post Friday. “This comes down to what this school committee and superintendent care about: what’s best for schools, or what’s best for Town Manager Andrew Flanagan. With town elections around the corner, it’s imperative that we hold elected officials accountable for their actions!”
The cuts are not set in stone, and Annual Town Meeting will have the final say on the APS budget in April. Enrollment forecasts used in the new high school debate last year suggested the downward trend will change course in 2026 as more young families move into the district.
APS spokesperson Nicole Kieser said the school committee is working to balance two main priorities: staying within the Town and district’s long-range fiscal planning parameters and keeping class size within the school committee’s guidelines.
The school committee meeting begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Town Offices.