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Swampscott super: Hadley will not close

SWAMPSCOTT – Not long after the district announced it was facing at least a $1 million deficit, rumors started circulating that Hadley School would be closed. But Superintendent Matthew Malone said he wants to nip those rumors in the bud.”I would like to be clear that any information regarding the closing of the Hadley School has not come from the School Committee or the Superintendent of the Swampscott Public Schools,” he said. “I will not be recommending the closing of the Hadley School in FY’09.”According to Malone, closing Hadley was mentioned at a recent selectmen meeting and the rumor has spread like wildfire. Last year the district closed Machon School suddenly to help close a budget deficit, but Malone said he wants to reassure residents Hadley would not fall victim to budget cuts in the coming fiscal year.Malone pointed out the falsehood of the rumor can easily be put to rest because Clarke and Stanley would not be able to accommodate all the elementary students even if all fifth grade students in the district were moved to the middle school.”It is a physical and organizational impossibility,” he said. “We would have upwards of 30 students in a class and no rooms for special (programming). It is not an option. The Hadley School will not be one of my recommended program cuts should the need for program cuts arise during the FY’09 budget process.”Malone pointed out the town votes a lump sum budget for the schools and the School Committee votes the line item budget.”The town votes the bottom line,” he said. “The School Committee has line authority.”At the School Committee meeting earlier this week, Malone explained his current recommended line item budget, which includes all day kindergarten and hiring more teachers has the district $1.08 million in the red. Malone said without additional funding the district would be forced to layoff staff and make program cuts.”We’ll have some tough choices to make,” he said. “But closing Hadley School is not an option and is not on the table.”

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