By Ben Terris
At a meeting in front of the Programs and Services Committee and Finance Committee on Wednesday, Marc Laredo, the School Committee Chairmen, and Jeffery Young, the Superintendent of Schools, presented their proposed budget for the schools. The total budget came in at about $164.3 million, just a 2.7 percent increase from last year. In 2008 the increase from the previous year was eight percent, and the three years before that the average was right around four percent.
Young was quick to point out that the small increase only existed because of the freeze on cost of living adjustments in salaries.
“If there wasn’t the cost of living freeze there could be another three million dollars in the budget and we would be having a very different conversation,” Young said.
Young said that another reason the budget increase is this small is because of a 11.6 percent reduction in full time employees.
The board of aldermen gave Young a standing ovation after his presentation to thank the outgoing superintendent for his time in Newton.
In the end, the Finance Committee voted 6-0 to hold the actual vote on the budget until a later date, and the Programs and Services took a nonbinding straw poll and voted 6-2 to hold the vote until a later date.