BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, Boston Public Schools will be getting a budget bump.
Fiscal Year 2022 will have a $1.2 billion budget, according to Boston Superintendent of Schools Brenda Casselius.
Some of the key investments in the proposed FY22 budget include $1.4 million for additional daytime custodial staff to invest in building condition and cleanliness amid the pandemic; $18.5 million to support schools experiencing enrollment declines; $10 million to elementary social workers for a multi-tiered system of support for students; and $6.8 million to multilingual family liaisons.
Superintendent Casselius is calling this year's budget the "return, recover, and reimagine" concept.
The City of Boston is forking over $36 million, which is seven percent more than last year, and spending per-pupil is proposed to go up. Casselius said the custodian budget is also seeing an increase in response to COVID-19.
"We know we're going to need additional cleaning measures even into next fall and into next year," Casselius said. "We were woefully under-staffed when I arrived here at Boston Public Schools."
BPS also received $32.3 million in supplemental funding as part of the CARES Act for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. In addition, BPS will receive approximately $123 million of funding from the ESSER II Fund due to the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021.
BPS said initial investments will support "a successful reopening of schools and promote a restart of initiatives and projects paused due to the COVID-19 emergency."
"Investments for equitable recovery will directly support students who have been most impacted by the pandemic," BPS said. "Finally, federal funding will vastly bolster our future reimagining of BPS, guide implementation of the Strategic Plan, support our commitment to being an antiracist district, and advance equitable outcomes for all students, particularly students of color, English learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing poverty."
BPS says it does not expect to cut due to issues of declining enrollment at particular schools.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports:
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