READING – Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty and the School Committee began the process for the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2021 School Budget.

Three additional budget consideration dates will be Thursday, January 16th, Thursday January 23, and Monday January 27.

On Monday, January 6th Dr. Dohertypresented his fircal 2021 budget reccomentations which calls for a 3.5% increase over the current year, a hike of $1,652,315 to $48,419,663.

In addition to the budget overview topics included the Administration Cost Center, Districtwide (Health Services, Athletics, Extra-curricular, Technology Infrastructure) Cost Center, the Facilities Department, the Town Core Facilities Budget and the Capital Plan.

On Thursday January 16, the presentation will concentrate on the largest section of the budget, the Regular Day Cost Center and the Special Education Cost Center.

Thursday January 23rd the School Committee will hold their annual Public Hearing on the FY21 Budget. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend and participate in the hearing on the proposed budget.

Also scheduled for the January 23rd meeting are a discussion of Special Revenue Funds and budget questions by the School Committee.

On Monday January 27th the School Committee will vote to adopt their budget. The budget figure will then be used by thre Town Administrator and Finance Committee in preparation for adoption at the Town Meeting April 27th.

All School Committee meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Schettini Library at Reading Memorial High School. The schools encourage all members of the community to participate in this budget process and to attend the budget meetings.

This year, the Superintendent made a conscious decision not to have specific budget liaisons assigned to the budget process. This decision is not based on the participation level of the dedicated budget liaisons over the years; rather the number of budget liaisons over the years has decreased.

Anyone with any questions about the budget, may contact Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us .

Copies of the budget are available for review at the Office of the Superintendent, 82 Oakland Rd., the Reading Library and also can be found at the website www.reading.k12.ma.us/.

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