By Maclaine Willett, contributing writer
Due to Covid-19, many questions have been raised regarding the school budget for the next school year, assuming the school year carries on normally. Since there is uncertainty if the school year will be continuing at the normal time and rate in September, it is unknown if the timeline for the school budget will stay the same. As Dr. Buckey, resigning school principal, suspects that before reductions will be made in current staff, “we would look at not adding new positions first.” This means that the priority will be focused on the current staff at NHS. Dr. Buckey adds that the school is looking to add a new special education teacher, but this might, unfortunately, become an issue when thinking about budget.
Additionally, other districts are considering the possibility of reducing the personnel due to “disaster budget situations,” but Nantucket is not having these conversations as of now, as Dr. Buckey states. As it seems right now, the NHS is not looking at a budget disaster or anything to that extent, but Mr. Cozort, retiring superintendent, does explain that there are going to be significant cuts from the budget that need to be acknowledged.
Although these cuts are, as Mr. Cozort describes, “considerable amounts from what we thought we would receive,” it is to be said that the administration is gearing toward budget cuts that affect the students the least. This may come in the form of spots from resinginations that may not be filled, but Mr. Cozort and the rest of the staff of the NHS and Nantucket Public Schools are not making final decisions yet. With the uncertainty of the outcome that lies ahead regarding the possible spread of the virus, time is necessary to judge the situation before making final decisions.
There are many possibilities for the upcoming school year, but both Dr. Buckey and Mr. Cozort made it very clear that the education of the students is top priority when sorting out issues that have arisen. Even though there will be significant budget cuts for the upcoming school year, there shouldn’t be an extreme negative effect on the school and its students. As of now, the Nantucket Public Schools seem to be most concerned about the safety and health of our community members during these uncertain times.