Belmont School Budget Tops $60 Million With Town’s Share $53 Million

Photo: The fiscal 2018 school budget

It got a bit more pricey to educate the kids in Belmont as the School Committee unanimously approved the fiscal 2018 school budget that tops $60 million.

Saying that there were “no surprises” in the final numbers, the School District’s Director of Finance, Business, and Operations Anthony DiCologero said the school department would request $52,969,484 million from Town Meeting in June when the town’s legislative body takes up financial articles.

With anticipated state and federal grants along with revolving fees, the total budget for the coming fiscal year just tops $60 million – actually $60,003,414, DiCologero told the board.

Compared to fiscal 2017, the town’s portion of the school budget increased by 5.7 percent, from $50.1 million to $53 million, an increase of $2.8 million.

Regarding total dollars, salary and wages increased by $2 million with cost of living increases and STEP adjustments moving higher from $185,903 in fiscal 2017 to $773,662 in the proposed 2018 budget, a $588,000 increase between the two years.

Also, health insurance premiums are budgeted to increase by nine percent – a little more than $500,000 – over the fiscal 2017 amount.

DiCologero told the committee the district were carrying forward all teaching positions from 2017 while adding five full-time equivalent positions as provided in the third year of the Financial Task Force Committee budget created the year of the $4.5 million override passed by town voters in April 2015.

Other budgetary issues of note:

  • One additional regular education school bus has been added to the seven bus fleet to accommodate the increase in enrollment.
  • User fees will remain the same in fiscal ’18.
  • General funds were increased by the index the Financial Task Force created.
  • All federal grants in fiscal ’18 are level funded from fiscal ’17 with small contractual increases for staff allocated to the subsidies.