NORTHBOROUGH – After months of discussion, organization, consideration, and meetings with town officials, the Regional School Committee unanimously voted to approve the budget for fiscal year 2024 during a meeting on Feb. 15.
The committee approved Superintendent Greg Martineau’s recommended budget of $26,590,346, which represents an increase of $863,265, or 3.36%, from the fiscal year 2023 budget.
Since the start of the process in December, the budget had been cut considerably. The preliminary budget called for nearly $27.2 million.
Martineau noted that the new budget gives the district the ability to eliminate the student activity fee and also includes funds to create a new Internship/Externship Coordinator position designed to “try and get students out in the workforce.”
“We are geographically located in an outstanding location, we have high tech… we really are going to have one person making those connections [and] providing those internships and externships to students so they get real-world experience,” Martineau said.
The budget will also fund roughly $30,000 worth of textbooks.
Martineau noted that the budget does not include several items, including funds to establish a Human Resource Generalist position and an Orton-Gillingham Reading Tutor position.
The district will not be losing any existing positions, however.
“Overall, I think 3.3-ish percent [budget increase] is pretty remarkable considering where inflation is,” said Regional School Committee Chair Sean O’Shea.
The budget will be subject to a public hearing scheduled for March 15, and will later be discussed during Northborough and Southborough town meetings.