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- Political notes
A $163.9 million budget for the next school year was approved unanimously by School Committee vote Tuesday. It’s about $7.3 million more than the current budget, with $1.2 million for new initiatives.
With social emotional support for kids, help for low-testing schools and teacher coaching identified as budget priorities, district officials talked a lot about how to refocus resources already in place.
With Cambridge’s two-year terms, all six School Committee positions – along with the mayor, who leads the committee – will be up for reelection this November, but the plan has the new superintendent chosen by October.
There were moments of palpable frustration at a special meeting on the budget Wednesday from some School Committee members, teachers and the public, particularly about the district’s burgeoning social and emotional issues.
A Cambridge assistant superintendent crossed a line recently and acknowledged it, although an attempted correction of the situation leaves something to be desired.
A proposed school district budget for next year shows an almost 5 percent increase to $164 million, with Superintendent Jeffrey Young calling it concentrated “on direct expenditures on students.”
The School Committee got a comprehensive status report on the district’s new math program Tuesday and heard a plea from third-grade families from the Baldwin School to start a pilot world language program there next fall.
The School Committee passed budget guidelines for the superintendent and discussed summer learning programs while clearing backed-up business in its first meeting in five weeks.
A vocational educational collaborative is adding questionable members and limiting choices, but students enter high school totally unaware of it, anyway, School Committee Fred Fantini says.
The district has failed to make any move toward fulfilling a world-language promise, but asks students to design posters extolling the wonders of learning foreign languages.