FY21 School Budget Update
Wednesday evening the Dedham School Committee approved a revised FY21 School budget proposal. The revisions incorporated guidance provided by the Town, which requested a $500,000 reduction from the original proposal approved by the School Committee on January 29, 2020, in order to accommodate anticipated shortfalls resulting from the current pandemic crisis. The revised FY21 proposed budget request is now $42,576,992.
The revised budget that was presented for School Committee approval included recommended cuts and adjustments that prioritized preserving teaching faculty and staffing as much as possible. A majority of the adjustments were focused on reducing resources for professional development and curriculum supports originally planned for the 2020-2021 school year, where alternative options and scaled implementations could be explored to achieve savings.
The new budget proposal did, however, require the need to reduce High School staffing by two full-time faculty positions and one district paraprofessional position, in order to offset the essential need for two additional classrooms- one in Kindergarten, one in first grade- due to unprecedented growth in Elementary enrollment numbers.
The Town's positive, supportive funding of the schools, despite the current circumstances, showcased the priority placed by the community in ensuring that our students have the best possible educators and support available in the new school year. The FY21 School Department Budget will next be presented to the Finance and Warrant Committee for review. Ultimately, the final FY21 Budget will be voted on at Dedham's annual Town Meeting later this summer after the town's elections on June 27th.