BPS officials said tonight roughly $6 million being pumped into high schools to stave off teacher layoffs comes from an anticipated increase in state aid for the effects of losing students to charter schools.
Although school officials acknowledged tonight they now plan to hold off on expanding Advanced Work Classes in grades 4-6, School Superintendent Tommy Chang told the School Committee he's still planning for expanding the program, just that he wants to hold off any spending until after the start of the city and state fiscal year in July, when BPS hopes to actually get the money it's now anticipating for a total school budget of slightly more than $1 billion.
Chang said he wants to sort of front-load high-school budgets now because early hiring of new teachers tends to result in better teachers getting hired.
After last week's student protests, Mayor Walsh announced he would restore most of the cuts initially proposed for high-school programs.
Eleanor Laurans, BPS executive director of school finance, said it was unfortunate that "misunderstanding or misinformation" about the complex school budget made it seem as if BPS was robbing elementary-level Peter to pay high-school Paul.
School Committee Chairman Michael O'Neill appreciated the good news, but cautioned that potential increases in state aid might still be tied to legislation that might harm BPS funding, such as lifting the cap on charter schools.
In a revised proposed budget presented to the School Committee tonight, officials said proposed roughly spending $3 million more next year to add roughly 200 new K1 seats and an extra $4.2 million in spending on five "early education" schools.
Latest school-budget overview.
Detailed school budget.