McKenna Downsizes School Budget

Thursday, May 16, 2013
By John Lynds

Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna released his recomended budget for Winthrop Public Schools totaling $16,563,000 last week.

While the Winthrop School Committee voted to adopt a $16,722,000 level service budget McKenna approved slightly less but the budget still reflects a 2.87% increase from last year.

McKenna applauded the WSC for its transparency during this year’s budget process.

“The good news is that for the first time there is a full explanation line for line on revenue sources and dollar for dollar what the money is being used for,” said McKenna.

Of the budget and his decision to recommend slightly less, McKenna said the $16.5 million should be sufficient to continue the WSC’s plans and visions to improve education in the Town next year.

As School Superintendent John Macero said two weeks ago, the schools are looking at professional development and partnering with the Princeton Review through Title I funding that will allow the schools to train teachers at the Middle School level to better prepare students for SATs.

Also McKenna said his recommendation should not have impacts on school staff and teacher levels. As Macero pointed out with retirements and class sizes the way they are currently, all are confident staffing at the schools will remain the same.

“While we leave it up to the school committee on how they will appropriate the recommendations we have been able to realize cost saving gains so the revised budget should not disrupt core services,” said McKenna.

Two weeks ago School Superintendent John Macero said he was prepared for the budget recommended by the WSC to be the same and possibly less. In the final analysis, 2.8% increase versus the 3.8% increase the WSC came up with shouldn’t have huge impacts.

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