On January 22nd, the School Committee approved a budget of $39,143,441 which is a 4.85% increase over last year’s budget. Dr. MacLeod noted that 3.85% of the increase alone represents fixed costs over which the schools have no control. Included in the budget is a reduction of bus fees and increased support to help remediate the level 2 designation from the past year’s MCAS scores. The proposed budget originally presented to the School Committee included funding to expand foreign language at the Middle School to 6th grade. The decision to remove the foreign language expansion brought the budget below 5%.