GROTON -- Groton-Dunstable Regional School District will lay off nearly a dozen workers after discovering a deficit of hundreds of thousands of dollars in last year's budget. The layoffs take effect Jan. 1.
The laid-off employees are mostly so-called "support staff," such as aides and administrative staff and do not include classroom teachers, according to School Committee Chairwoman Alison Manugian.
The shortfall came about a few weeks ago during the annual audit, according to Manugian. The district does not know exactly how much the deficit is yet and is waiting for the state Department of Revenue to finalize the figure. Manugian said she expects there will be no additional layoffs.
While Manugian does not know how the deficit occurred, she suspects that the staff's unfamiliarity with the accounting system that the district adopted a few years ago may be to blame. Because this year's budget is built on last year's, last year's deficit created a hole in the current budget as well, resulting in the layoffs, Manugian said. The District is looking at several areas in the budget for further spending cuts, and reducing Interim Superintendent Anthony Bent's work week from five days to four -- an idea that Bent himself offered -- could also be up for discussion, according to Manugian.
Bent, who was attending a meeting outside the district on Thursday morning, could not be reached for comment immediately.
-- Hiroko Sato