- Allison Goldsberry
The Medford School Committee unanimously approved a $47,483,000 budget for fiscal year 2013 on Tuesday night.
Several items that were considered for being cut or reduced, as discussed at Monday night’s 6-hour long budget meeting, were restored, including kindergarten aides, math and science textbooks, and middle school foreign language. Proposed cuts to athletics, including the swim team, outdoor track team, and freshman sports, won’t happen due to funding from Mayor Michael McGlynn’s annual golf tournament, a twenty-four year tradition that has helped keep sports programs in place. The student activities fund won’t endure a proposed cut and money will be sunk into building maintenance and an assistant principal position.
According to Mayor McGlynn, recycling rebates from the city’s trash and recycling service, Waste Management, helped fund some of the budget restorations, as well as projected changes in state aid.
“It’s been another challenging year, but it’s getting better,” said Mayor McGlynn. “We don’t stop now or rest on what we’ve accomplished, but continue to go forward…I can assure you I’m going to continue to seek out other sources of funding.”
School Superintendent Roy Belson also focused on the positive, noting three new principals will be in place in the fall and how the community came together to share its educational priorities during budget time.
“It’s key here that this community works together…we fight for things we believe in,” said Supt. Belson.
Even though next year’s school budget is more than last year’s, the figure isn’t really an increase since rising costs mean even more money is needed to provide the same level of services as the previous year. For example, the budget needs to accommodate fixed costs such as negotiated salary increases and things like special education tuition and student transportation can also make budget planning a challenge.
The school budget will be before the Medford City Council for final approval, along with the municipal budget, some time before the end of the month.