School Committee logoNumber to 'build budget on.'
-- Kirsi Allison-Ampe

UPDATED Jan. 30: The School Committee acknowledged – and did not adopt – an operating-budget allocation of nearly $89 million for the upcoming school year during its Jan. 26 regular meeting. The next school year begins July 1. 

Vice Chair Kirsi Allison-Ampe suggested changing the wording from “adopt” to “acknowledge.” In that amended form, it passed unanimously, 6-0. Because committee Chair Liz Exton was absent due to a family commitment, Allison-Ampe, in her capacity as vice chair, conducted the 90-minute meeting.

"This is the number we’re [going to be] building our budget on,” said Allison-Ampe, who also heads the committee’s budget subcommittee. 

The budget came up briefly during routine brief reports of all the subcommittees toward the end of the meeting. Allison-Ampe said the budget subcommittee had met recently “for strategizing” and was set to meet again Feb. 10.

Number expected, Pooler says

The precise budget-allocation figure for 2023-2034 -- $88,947,334 – is what Town Manager Sandy Pooler has said that Arlington Public Schools can expect, Allison-Ampe said. 

Any possible tax override within Arlington could change the financial picture somewhat, Allison-Ampe said. However, she added, “We don’t know [what will happen] -- and we won’t know for a while.”

Pooler has said that Gov. Healey's budget, expected by March 1, is expected to determine state aid -- a number that could determine whether the Select Board seeks an override this year or next.

This amount allocated for local schools for 2023-2024 is about $4.5 million more than the budget for the current school year, ending June 30, which is $84,447,869. See the current budget here >> 

5-year strategic plan

Superintendent Elizabeth C. Homan also mentioned the budget in passing as she shared the latest version of the district’s five-year strategic plan. This plan is expected to come to the committee for approval before the April 1 town election. 

Read the strategic-plan documents here >>

In its soon-to-be-completed form, the strategic plan is to have its own website, including videos available in multiple languages, and the public’s input to it will be accepted over roughly a month, Homan said.

She suggested that committee “plan the [2023-2024] budget strategically in alignment with the strategic plan.”

More from the Jan. 26 meeting will be reported.

Watch the Jan. 26 meeting on ACMi:

This news summary by YourArlington assistant editor and education reporter Judith Pfeffer was published Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. It was updated Jan. 30, to add ACMi video window.

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