Brewer Schools Face $1.1 Million Shortfall 

Catherine Pegram

School’s just started but officials in the Brewer area are already looking ahead to next year and how to handle a nearly $1.1 million shortfall.Brewer and Dedham Superintendent Daniel Lee says the bulk of the money is federal stimulus funds that’ll dry up in 2011. The $660,000 dollars Brewer receives currently pays for 12 positions in the district. Lee says state funding is also expected to decrease by about $100,000.And there’ll be about $200,000 of expenses when the new Brewer Elementary School opens next fall.Lee says “When federal funding goes away and when we have a drop in general purpose aid to education, we’re going to have to change how we do business. So what that looks like right now, we don’t know. What we do know is the first step in solving a problem is identifying a problem.”As a start to that, Brewer School Committee members got a closer look at those numbers last night.Lee says other school districts are expected to face similar financial concerns in the next school year. He adds there could be more money available through a new jobs bill making its way through Congress. But that would only cover a fraction of what the district is expected to lose.