School budget chart

The Milton School Committee on Jan. 11 approved a preliminary school budget that is about $4 million and roughly 7 percent higher than last year’s budget. 

The $62.5 million request will meet the costs of maintaining its current staffing levels, offset lost federal COVID funds, and add at least six more staff positions that the district feels are priority needs.

The Milton Public Schools’ budget for fiscal year 2023, which will end June 30, drew a little under $58.4 million from the town’s general funds.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, which will begin July 1, sets the cost of leveling funding current positions at about $2 million and includes just short of $1 million more to restore American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that were used in last year’s total spending but will not be available in the next year.

To the level funding costs of $61.4 million, the district is also seeking to add $362,000 that will pay for new mandated special education expenses and other items totaling $761,450.

The budget requests will now go to the Warrant Committee for review as it prepares for the May Annual Town Meeting.

The requests, if fully funded, would likely create a deficit situation in the budget, according to Select Board member Mike Zullas, who also serves on the town’s finance committee.

Communities must present a balanced budget to Town Meeting voters and at the same time are limited by the constraints of Proposition 2½.

Zullas said the town departments’ budgets are coming in but asked that the requests be presented as “an organic whole” to create a better picture of the situation.

The town’s portion of the budget, which is about $65 million including items such as debt service, is under construction and is expected to be ready for submission soon.

It, too, will need to account for the loss of ARPA funds that were used to support several town department positions. 

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