School Funding Needs Boost

May 18, 2011
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With the Fiscal Year 2012 city budget starting its process, school department officials have tallied up their own funding as part of that greater budgetary process.

According to Superintendent of School Fred Foresteire the Everett Public Schools will be working with $54 million with a $3.2 million tab for bus transportation for school students.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria for FY2012, has earmarked $25 million from local taxes to go toward the $54 million price tag for public school education.

The remainder is made up by a mandated contribution from the state.

In recent years, the state contribution has come to be a larger part of the city budget than anything or anyone else.

“More and more we come to rely on the state,” said Superintendent of Schools Foresteire.

“Sixty-three per cent of the money spent on public school education in Everett comes from the state. Conversely, 37% comes from the city.”

Foresteire didn’t say it in as many words but Everett’s public schools could use more funding than the flat-line funding given to it by the city.

Even the Chapter 70 money the school department just received went largely to pay for city expenses which get charged back to the Chapter 70 funding.

Without added funding in the years to come, the school department will completely lose its wiggle room, that is, its ability to maneuver for more teachers and classes.

One of the great needs for more money is the city’s English as a second language population which is huge and which is rising.

Everett needs teachers who are bi-lingual in order to teach students how to read and write in the English language.

“The needs of the English as a second language population in our schools are extraordinary,” said Foresteire. “And so too are the costs associated with the effort to get them speaking and reading and writing in the English language.”