What to Know About the Arlington School Budget


Jiwan R.

As we enter the new year, the decision making for a new school budget begins. There is much that goes on behind the scenes, and it affects every aspect of your school career, as it can mean the hiring/firing of teachers or even the complete renovation of a school building. So join us on a journey to track down your tax money inside a maze of legal wording.


According to the 2/10/22 town meeting, there were 5,939 pupils in the Arlington Public Schools system in 2022, and an average of $15,629 was spent on each student. The total budget for the school district in Fiscal Year 2023 (which goes from July 1st, 2022 to July 1st, 2023) is 90.8 million dollars, not including the cost for the new high school. Of this, 22 million dollars was spent on school services, which are the services the education system supplies to the community.


There are two main sources of school funding, state aid and a portion of town property taxes. In FY 2023, they amounted to $84.4M. However, there are other sources as well. For example, grants and other funding comes from state or federal government.


There are several key areas where a large sum of money is being spent. The Insider has put a table of several of these costs below. (School services cover all of the costs below and more except for teacher salaries.)

Service Cost ($) Service Cost ($)
Teacher salaries 48M Services (Total) 22M
Food 480.2K Plumbing 52.6K
Maintenance Salaries 645K Computer software 420.2K
Security 58.2K Custodial supplies 505.3K

Arlington High School

The construction of Arlington High School (AHS) has gone over its expected budget, and is now expected to cost $290.4M (this cost is separate from the school budget). Compared to Newton North High School, one of the most expensive high schools in the US, AHS cost $90M more, not accounting for inflation. This is due to several factors. Construction in the Boston area costs more than average, with an increase of 4% in cost each year. As students are actively learning in a construction zone, measures must be taken to reduce the amount of dust on the site. Several locations on AHS are also contaminated with chromium, which requires careful monitoring. In addition, the new school will be built on top of Mill Brook. Of the 290 million dollars, the Massachusetts School Building Authority is providing $84.7M and the town will provide the rest.

Final Words

In conclusion, there is much more that goes on within the school budget than this article covers. Since many town archives are open to the public and easily accessible, the Insider encourages further research into this topic to raise student participation in town politics.