$128 million public schools budget ratified unanimously

By Josh Resnek

Everett Public Schools spending in fiscal year (FY) 2024 is set at $128 million, an increase over 2023 spending of almost $20 million dollars.

The schools budget was approved unanimously without much discussion during Monday night’s school committee meeting.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria asked the bulk of the questions about the 2024 budget without any fanfare.

The Everett High School budget topped the ticket – so to speak.

In FY2024, the EHS budget was set at $25 million up from $22 million in 2023.

In FY2024 the Lafayette School is the second most expensive EPS facility to operate.

In FY2024 it will cost $11.7 million for the school as compared with a 2023 cost of $11.3 million.

However, it is the administration of all the public schools which is the most costly item in the new budget.

That cost for FY2024 is $40.7 million as compared with 2023 which came in at $27.1 million.

Custodial managerial salaries have gone from $0 in FY2023 to $300,000 in 2024.

Cleaning contracts have soared as well from $336,000 in FY2023 to $1.1 million in 2024.

The cleanliness of the public schools is an item of great importance to the majority of the school committee membership and the new contracts reflect this.

Custodial salaries in all amounted to $2.3 million in FY2023 and came in at the same level with $2.3 million in 2024.

Social workers are being sought out but are largely unavailable in numbers the school district is seeking.

In FY2023, there was not a line item for social workers.

The FY2024 figure is $1.7 million.

However, social workers are hard to find and the positions needing to be filled will likely remain empty.

IT costs jumped from $700,000 in FY2023 to $1.4 million in 2024.

District classroom specialist teachers went from FY2023’s $542,000 figure to $1 million in 2024.

Legal costs for the school department went from $200,000 in FY2023 to $690,000, a reflection, it is believed, of the cost of the federal probe of the city now underway.

The cost for EHS classroom/Specialist teachers went from $9.3 million in FY2023 to $13 million in 2024.

Inflation was a factor in the rising cost of public school education here.

Money is worth less and needs increase from year to year for goods and services.

Bottom line – it is very expensive to run a public school education system.

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