School Committee Approves $56 Million FY 2024 Budget

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READING, MA — After over a month of presentations and discussions, the School Committee voted 6-0 to approve the superintendent’s recommended Fiscal Year 2025 budget of $56,310,811. This budget amount includes $50,275,483 for school operations and $6,035,328 in special education accommodated costs. The budget will be forwarded to the Town Manager, who will combine it with the municipal budget for review by the Finance Committee.

According to School Committee chair Thomas Wise at the January 18 School Committee meeting, the approved budget will meet all negotiated school department obligations, Esser grant positions have been retained, and universal full-day kindergarten will be one year closer to being achieved.

The School Committee voted 6-0 to approve a new transportation contract with North Suburban Transportation. The new contract represents an increase from $147,600 in FY 2024 to $167,400 for FY 2025, which, according to Director of Finance and Operations Derek Pinto, is accounted for in the FY 2025 budget. Reading is in the last year of its current contract with North Suburban, which was the only company to submit a bid.

The School Committee also voted 6-0 to accept a donation for a rock and a plaque honoring John Moon for his contributions to the Reading Memorial High School (RMHS) lacrosse program. According to RMHS lacrosse coach Charles Hardy, Moon “changed the direction” of Reading lacrosse. Plans are also in place to create a scholarship fund in Moon’s name.

The School Committee adjourned to executive session at 7:30 pm.

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