Editor’s note: The following is a release from Mayor Robert J. Dolan as he tries to win backing for a Proposition 2 1/2 override.

A ballot question regarding a $2.25 million override for the City of Melrose is currently before the Board of Aldermen. The first question for all citizens should be: Where is the money going for this proposed override? The answer is here.

Public Safety

• Two Police Officers: This will strengthen and enhance community policing efforts throughout the City and lower overtime costs due to injuries, military deployment, and other factors. ($150,000)

Melrose Public Schools

After a several month budgetary process by the Melrose School Committee, as well as a Growth Budget presented by our Superintendent of Schools that was publicly reviewed and endorsed by the School Committee, the following positions were identified as priority positions that could not be funded with current resources.


• 1.5 Elementary Library Media Specialists: To improve instruction and support in research, digital media, and technology and enhance continuity of instruction from elementary to middle school. ($75,000)

• 3.0 High School Staff: To provide more staff in fine and performing arts, social studies, and technology/engineering. This restores some of the staffing lost over the years, helps to lower class size in some large classes, and provides more options for students. All students are now required to take one full year of an arts course and five additional courses beyond the core requirements in math, science, English, social studies, physical education/health, and global languages. ($165,000)

• 2.0 Middle School Staff: To ensure all students have access to the full array of electives, such as art, music, and engineering, and to provide essential support and enrichment opportunities in math. This would enable more students to take these classes, improve exposure and mastery, and encourage continued study at the high school level. ($100,000)

• 1.0 Elementary Specialist: To provide the additional staffing needed in art and music education as we add more general education classrooms at two schools. As a community, Melrose is committed to providing our students with opportunities in the fine and performing arts. ($45,000)

• 1.0 Secondary Level Alternative/Special Education Teacher: To provide alternative academic options for students who would like to stay in the Melrose Public Schools but need a more flexible and nontraditional means to earn a diploma. ($60,000)

• 1.0 Elementary LICSW (social worker): To support social-emotional development, making good decisions, being resilient, and other personal skills necessary for success in school. ($50,000)

Instructional Support for Staff

• 1.0 Pre K-12 Director of Instructional Technology: To provide leadership, management, and supervision of all network and computer systems and all technical, instructional technology and library media personnel. The creation of this position will establish an Instructional Technology and Library Media Department that will include all the district positions listed in this section. The Director will work with administration to implement the district technology plan and prepare for future instructional technology needs. The Director will also provide direction and support for technology integration and digital literacy. ($85,000)

• 1.0 Elementary Academic Facilitator: To help elementary teachers differentiate instruction and develop strategies and content so that we may challenge and extend academic opportunities for all elementary students. ($65,000)

• 1.0 Elementary Instructional Coach: To improve instruction in social studies and science by supporting educators and modeling best instructional practices. This will help staff implement curriculum changes in science, engineering, and technology as we update our curriculum in these critical areas. ($70,000)

Curriculum Resources

• We need additional revenue to purchase materials in a consistent and systematic manner. We have instituted a continuous cycle of program review that will involve every content area on a rotating basis. Currently, the most pressing need is updated reading instruction resources in K-5. With upcoming changes to the science and engineering curriculum, we will need new materials in K-8. And our recent program review for social studies/history has highlighted the need for new materials in that subject. (Increase current budget by $150,000)

Professional Development

• Changes in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and technology and new mandates require more professional development in areas like science, English as a Second Language, special education, and social-emotional learning. We must also support staff in developing and administering performance-based assessment and in using technology as a learning tool. Our educators need and deserve more investment in their own professional development. (Increase current budget by $50,000)

Technology and Digital Learning

• The City has proposed a permanent funding mechanism for city and school hardware to be funded in FY 2016. However, the School Department must maintain and expand software licenses, subscriptions, and memberships. In order to do that we need $100,000 more in the budget (Increase current budget by $100,000)

Special Education

• The City has established a Special Education Stabilization Fund to offset extraordinary costs related to special education. It is important to maintain a healthy stabilization balance due to the volatility of special education expenses on a yearly basis and a substantial loss of federal and state aid in this area. This additional money will supplement the in-district special education budget. (Increase current budget by $50,000)

Budget Stabilization

• Add sufficient funding to the school budget base in order to minimize the use of one-time revenues for ongoing operating expenses, which weakens the city’s financial position. This will ensure the funding necessary for programs and services and provide additional flexibility for all city departments. This will also compensate for the continuous loss of federal and state aid. ($750,000)

• Personnel Support Services to fund the benefit costs associated with the hiring of these new Public Education and Public Safety employees. ($285,000)

Total investment: $2,250,000