See How the Schools Used Nearly $1 Million From the Town

At Monday’s School Committee meeting, Watertown School officials detailed how they used an infusion of nearly $1 million it received from the town budget last spring. The one-time funds were provided as a boost to the curriculum. The money went to upgrade technology and to update curriculum materials, said Assistant Superintendent Dari Donovan. The district received $210,000 from the Fiscal 2014 budget and $750,000 from the Fiscal 2015 budget. Due to tight budgets, curriculum materials have not been updated in some time, Donovan said.

Watertown School Officials Detail Use of $1 Million Boost

The Watertown Public Schools will receive a $1 million budget boost in the current school year, and they will spend most of it on special education, but will also use some on technology, materials and preparations for the new PARCC standardized test. Tuesday night, the Town Council approved taking  the money out of the Free Cash Fund and use it for the school’s Fiscal 2014 budget (which ends in June 30). The majority, $790,000, will be spend to create a Special Education Stabilization Fund. Unexpected special education costs when students move into town with severe needs can cost nearly $250,000 per student in some cases. The Watertown Public Schools cover the cost even when students go to out of town programs.

The stabilization fund was created to prevent the general education budget from being eaten away by the unexpected, un-budgeted costs, said Councilor Vincent Piccirilli.