WINTHROP — More than 80 people watched the Winthrop School Committee slice more than $120,000 from the 2012-2013 budget in the first few minutes of Wednesday’s meeting.

The reductions in nine areas as proposed by the administrative team at the schools spared middle and high school athletic budgets.

However, board members also approved an additional $10,000 cut from the athletic budget with an initial focus on transportation costs.

Superintendent Gary Rosenthal said the administrative team had reviewed the budget line by line over the past few days.

The goal was to create a budget that will win voter approval at a referendum in mid September. The date has yet to be determined. The school budget has been rejected twice at the polls, most recently when it was just more than $10 million.

“We’ve tried to put this budget together making minimal cuts to student services,” Rosenthal said. “This is probably the last student-friendly budget we’re going to see.”

After Wednesday’s reductions, the budget that will go to voters stands at just over $9.9 million. The budget will require $152,000 more in local tax dollars to support it than last year’s budget.

While the board spent more than an hour in discussion, there was little public comment other than a few questions about the bottom line.

Resident Betsy Rowe, who had raised a number of concerns previously about what a budget increase would do to taxpayers, thanked school board members and the audience.

“I know it hasn’t been easy for any of us.” she said. “I think we have all learned some valuable lessons from this process.”

School board chairman Ike Dyer estimated there have been 14 meetings on the budget.




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