READING – The School Committee cooked up another two minute budget session last night and unanimously adopted the $49,695,998 fiscal year 2022 budget proposed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty.

Monday’s budget vote came on the heels of a two minute school budget public hearing last Thursday at which there was no discussion by members of the public at the ZOOM remote hearing nor was there any discussion by members of the School Committee.

Dr. Doherty made one brief comment concerning the budget, reporting the total was unchanged but that adjustments in offsets from revolving accounts announced last week due to low participation during this COVID year which totaled $125,000 resulted in a like amount of money taken from a half dozen line items in next year’s budget.

School Committee Chair Chuck Robinson announced “I’ll be supporting the budget” that does what is best for the children of Reading. There were no other comments and the committee supported the budget proposal by a vote of 6-0, prompting Robinson to remark “it was the quickest budget vote in all his years on the committee.”

The grand total for the budget as proposed by Dr. Doherty is $49,695,998 up $1,253,335 or 2.6% over the current budget and up 2.97% over the original budget for fiscal year 2021 that did not include COVID funding. The budget will now be submitted to the town manager with a discussion with the Finance Committee scheduled for February 24.

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