Rising Special Education Costs Contribute to $1 Million Shortfall for FY24 Watertown School Budget
The Watertown Public Schools face a shortfall of around $1 million for the 2023-24 school year (Fiscal Year 2024), due in part to a large increase in the cost of special education. Monday night the School Committee heard the FY24 preliminary budget presentation from School administrators, who said the Watertown Public School’s level-services budget faces a significant deficit. This budget would provide the same level of services and programs available to students during the current school year, though it might require additional staff to provide the service due to increased enrollment in a certain grade or in a particular program, said Heidi Perkins, the WPS Director of Finance and Operations. The Watertown Schools will receive a 3.5 percent increase from the City over the FY23 budget, or $2.84 million, which would make the FY24 budget $55.64 million. The amount needed to cover a level-services budget is $58.47 million, as of Jan.