School budget set, with hike of about 5 percent

Mar 5, 2023

MIDDLEBORO —  The Middleboro School Committee has unanimously supported an operating budget for next year of $38,887,702, an increase of about 5 percent over the current budget of $37,035,907.

The bulk of the budget _ $32,284,063 _ covers salaries of the school department personnel. With more than 560 employees, the school department is the largest department in Middleboro, Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Lyons said at the March 2 School Committee meeting.

“These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet,’’ she said.

She said the budget falls within parameters set by Town Manager James McGrail.

“The goal and purpose of our entire budget preparation process is so that we might provide appropriate and adequate funding designed to help complete the mission of our school system,’’ Lyons said. That mission, she said, is “to foster a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day.’’

In addition to the operating budget, the School Committee appropriated $4,266,980 for transportation costs, an increase of $466,580 over current spending levels. 

The budget also includes an estimated $1.3 million in special education reimbursement and funds from grants and revolving funds of $3,610,654. A revolving fund is an account that replenishes itself through specific income, such as fees. 

The total expenditure for the schools, including the state aid and grant income, will be $48,065,336.

Although the committee approved the budget, Chair Rich Young said changes can happen through the year, particularly with “fluctuations’’ in the special education budget and potential “huge fluctuations’’ in transportation costs.

“We’re in good shape now,’’ he said. “But good shape can change quickly.’’