Longmeadow has about half the total population of Amherst, with a property tax rate slightly higher ($18.28 vs. $16.95 per $1000), a school system consisting of three elementary schools with grades K-5, two middle schools with grades 6-8, and a single high school for a total school population of approximately 3,100 students or almost exactly the same as Amherst's 3,086.
Longmeadow's $11,356 per pupil expenditure is well below Amherst's $15, 223 at the elementary level ($16,131 at the Regional High School) or a difference of over $12 million per year.
The Longmeadow School Committee just announced a two-year teacher contract with ZERO Cost Of Living Allowance; and only a 1% step increase both for the current Fiscal Year (2010) and FY 2011 that starts July 1.
Amherst teachers finagled a 3% COLA in FY11 (in FY10 it was 3.5%) and about half the teachers will also receive an additional step increase of 4%. This combo alone comes to $1.3 million next year.
If our diffident School Committee had negotiated the same contract benefits (besides staying employed) of only 1% step increases next year, it would make a million dollar difference. And $1 million would obviate many, many teacher layoffs.
The Republican reports:
And The Republican reported way back when: