March 14, 2023
To the Honorable Members of the School Committee:
This school year has been one of resetting and renewal as we started focusing on our collaborative work of educating our students, supporting our educators, and thoughtfully engaging families. We are proud of our accomplishments thus far and look forward to more milestones and achievements as the school year progresses.
Our work, focus, and perspective are grounded in our three-year District Plan, with the vision, mission, and core values serving as our foundation. Our strategic objectives and focused initiatives drive our strategy for improving outcomes, including the design and planning for the FY24 budget.
While we have much to celebrate, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all of our students gain the knowledge and skills needed to leave the Cambridge Public Schools prepared for college and career and to live out the district’s vision that “Our students are critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and builders of a more equitable society who graduate prepared to make informed choices about their future.”
The FY 2024 budget process was centered on equity in stakeholder engagement and voice; specifically those who have not previously been involved in the community conversations. We intentionally aligned planning for the FY 2024 general fund budget and the federal COVID-19 relief grant from the Emergency Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Fund (ESSER) to our District Plan. Guiding principles and questions guided the decision-making process related to budget investments. This budget proposal, which includes both general fund and ESSER funds, focuses on the four strategic objectives:
- Deliver Ambitious Instruction and Effective Supports
- Provide Accessible College and Career Pathways
- Effective Staff Learning Support
- Building Welcoming and Supportive Schools and District
The investments demonstrate our intentionality in narrowing the achievement and opportunity gaps, supporting educator effectiveness and delivering high quality, robust curriculum in every school and classroom, and supporting our youngest learners through planning for the implementation of universal preschool.
In total, the FY 2024 general fund budget investment is $245,000,000, a $12.6 million increase over the FY 2023 budget. In addition, the budget also includes $3.9 million in ESSER funded investments. I want to acknowledge City Manager Yi-An Huang for his commitment and ongoing support for education and the Cambridge Public Schools. He and his staff have been supportive, collaborative partners in this important work.
I also deeply appreciate the School Committee’s partnership in developing the budget. I look forward to continued conversations and collaboration with the School Committee as well as other stakeholders in our community.
Make It Great!!
Victoria L. Greer, PhD
Superintendent of Schools