Watertown Schools to Add Music Teachers, Tutors & Field Trip Aid in FY25 Budget

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Watertown’s school budget will increase by $2 million, and additions include music teachers, math and literacy tutors, English as a second language teachers, and financial assistance to help all students go on field trips and school trips.

The 2024-25 Watertown Public Schools budget will increase by 3.5 percent from the current year, for a total budget of $59.599 million. City Manager George Proakis said the Watertown Public Schools will receive a 3.5 percent increase when he presented the preliminary budget in October.

Superintendent Dede Galdston said the budget represents a level services budget, which maintains the services provided by the district the prior year. This includes salary increases, and additional positions to maintain services. Galdston told the School Committee on April 8 that Watertown is in a better position than many communities.

“We are fortunate because I think in many communities they are struggling just to provide a level funded budget,” she said. “We are at a level service.”

The Fiscal Year 2025 budget does include some new positions, Galdston said. Through cost savings, including the difference in salaries for replacing retiring teachers and a decrease in tuition due to fewer students attending vocational/technical schools, there was $671,000 available for new positions and programs.

New additions to the FY25 budget include:

  • An English as a second language (ESL) teacher at the Watertown High School
  • An ESL teacher at Watertown Middle School
  • A multilingual learner coach for the middle and high schools
  • A part time (0.2 FTE) math teacher at the middle school to help students with algebra
  • A behavior health and councilor coordinator for whole district
  • An equity teaching and learning coordinator for the whole district
  • A part time (0.6 FTE) band teacher at the middle school
  • A part time (0.2 FTE) orchestra teacher at the middle school
  • A literacy tutor at the middle school
  • A math tutor at the middle school

Another new item in the budget is $15,000 to fund financial assistance for field trips for the whole district.

“It was a School Committee request we were able to fund with our delta,” Galdston said.

The main increase comes from salaries and step increases in the teacher’s contract. Galdston said that the budget also includes a mid-year increase of 1 percent which will be given only if the state provides money from the Fair Share Amendment.

The district is expected to see a small increase in utility costs, Galdston said, but it would have been larger if Watertown did not have two net-zero energy elementary schools. There district will have savings from spending less on utilities at the temporary high school site at Moxley Field.

The School Committee voted on April 11 to approve the Superintendent’s budget. In May, School officials will present the budget to the City Council. The entire City of Watertown budget will be voted on by the City Council in June.

See the Watertown Public Schools Fiscal Year 2025 budget book by clicking here.

3 thoughts on “Watertown Schools to Add Music Teachers, Tutors & Field Trip Aid in FY25 Budget

  1. All good moves except one, which horrible. We don’t a DEI anything. That’s just cultural Marxism and indoctrination.

    • This is the classic response whenever efforts to recognize, encourage, and support our diverse population are proposed. Fear and ignorance solve nothing. Maybe they score political points with the MAGA crowd, who frankly have zero interest in solving any real issues. When given the chance to do so, their insurrectionist leader gives a thumbs down.

  2. I read “Equity” here. Pretty sure every parent wants their student to be treated fairly. We have amazing students in this district with a wide variety of skills and perspectives. It would be great if they could learn from the adults around them to see others as people worthy of the equal respect, patience and kindness.

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