The Westbrook School Committee has unanimously approved a $46.8 million spending plan for the fiscal year beginning in July, up $3.2 million, or 7.5%, from the current year’s budget.

Under the budget, the school portion of the city’s tax rate is estimated to rise 82 cents from $10.09 to $10.91, representing about an 8.1% increase, according to School Department Finance Director Brian Mazjanis. Taxes to support education on a Westbrook home assessed at $400,000 would rise $328 to $4,364 from $4,036.

The school budget is now in the hands of the City Council’s finance committee, which will review it May 1.

The school committee, Superintendent Peter Lancia and administrators pared $965,289 dollars from Lancia’s earlier $47.7 million proposal. Those cuts, along with an unexpected boost in state funding, put the budget in “a really decent place,” Lancia said earlier this month.

No “pre-existing positions” were cut from the budget, Mazjanis said, “although a number of positions that were pandemic-related and were hired as two-year only positions will be ending at the conclusion of this school year.”

The budget reflects a $307,000 reduction in an expected increase in health insurance costs, he said. The School Department first figured on a 10% rise in those costs to about $11 million, but the increase came in at 4.3%.


Grounds and fields maintenance was reduced to $300,000.

The School Department will receive $19.6 million in general purpose aid from the state, including a $777,514 windfall because of a state miscalculation. The state subsidy, however, still comes in $385,460 less than the current year’s funding.

Lancia said earlier this month that $650,000 of a $750,000 fund balance would be used as revenue and tax relief.

Before the School Committee voted on the budget April 12, Westbrook Education Association President Sue Lombardo urged members to approve it.

“We fully support this budget and hope you will approve it tonight,” said Lombardo, an ed tech.

No one spoke in opposition.

The City Council is scheduled to make a preliminary vote on the school budget May 8 and a final vote May 15. The budget will then go to voters June 13.

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