Northampton School Committee approves $30.64 million budget
NORTHAMPTON — The School Committee unanimously approved a $30.64 million budget that for the first time in several years, contains no plans for layoffs or cuts in programs.
The proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July calls for $26.36 million from the city — an increase of 3.4 percent over this year’s appropriation of $25.5 million. Mayor David J. Narkewicz is scheduled to present his final budget to City Council in May.
School leaders cited a $2.5 million property tax override Northampton voters approved in July as the reason they were able to devise a budget for the coming year without reducing staff or programs.
“It appears as though Northampton has turned a corner,” said Interim Superintendent Regina Nash at Thursday’s board meeting. “We’re on a good road.”
The $30.64 million plan represents an increase of 4 percent over this year’s school budget of $29.04 million.
The plan calls for using the $856,378 increase for school supplies and new staff positions. Among them are two new support staff members and a technology specialist for the elementary schools, a support specialist at JFK Middle School and a reading specialist at R.K. Finn Ryan Road School.
School Committee member Downey Meyer said he was pleased to see funds being allocated to teacher training and technology in the coming year’s budget.
“That’s a sign of a healthier budget than we’ve looked at in some time,” he said.
The city appropriation represents 86 percent of the School Department’s total budget. The remainder comes from government grants and state school choice and “circuit breaker” reserve funds.
The complete schools budget is available online at www.northampton-k12.us.