The Budget and School Financing Everett is in an Enviable Position.

May 18, 2011
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It has a successful, working, almost visionary public school system, a handful of brand new schools and an exploding school population.

It also has a school department and schools superintendent who bring big energy and ambition into the daily quotient on Vine Street where the system is administered.

All of the above make Everett a preferred place to live for many married couples with children seeking a decent apartment and a school system capable of meeting their children’s’ needs.

In meeting the needs of the children attending the Everett Public Schools there comes a cost.

Those costs have been rising from year to year for the past decade.

The costs are now becoming acute as the school population rises faster than anyone could ever have imagined.

Which brings us to the 2012 Fiscal Year city budget.

The city has again chosen to fund the schools at the minimum required level – and not a penny more.

This financial strategy when it comes to the schools is inconsistent with what exactly is needed to run the schools in the future. Everett needs more money from Everett City Hall in the years to come or the schools are going to be put in jeopardy.

The city, of course, is reluctant to give more money to the schools because doing that causes property taxes to rise.

However the time is coming when the city’s public school system is going to need more from the city just as it has come to need more and more from the state to sustain itself.

The Everett Public Schools need an additional $2 million to do the right thing for the kids in FY 2012.

This isn’t going to happen as the budget is done and everything is basically signed and sealed.

The Everett Public Schools received an additional $5 million from the state which came with its Chapter 70 allowance. The city did the rest. But it simply isn’t enough.

Everett spends less on its public school students per pupil than most municipalities in the Commonwealth.

It gets a bigger bang for its buck than in Cambridge.

Cambridge spends $25,737 per pupil, Chelsea $13,201, Revere $12,779 and Everett $12,441.

Everett is on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to per pupil spending.

This is a fact of matter that must be artfully altered in the years to come for Everett’s public school system to continue flourishing.

Money isn’t everything. It is nearly everything.