The school district will now try to solve the busing problem with the lower amount, Scully said.
“We won’t be able to do everything we wanted, but we’ll do what we can,” he said, referring to expanding bus routes.
A public hearing on the school spending proposal will be Thursday at 6 p.m. in City Hall. The School Committee is expected to take its final votes on the spending plan that night, after hearing from the public and making any last-minute changes.
Overall, the school budget is up about $4 million, or 5 percent compared to this year, in both the mayor’s and School Committee’s budget proposal. The city’s contribution to the school budget, which includes state aid, is up almost 8 percent, the mayor said.
Fiorentini and Scully credited state Rep. Brian Dempsey, D-Haverhill, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, with delivering $3 million in increased state aid for the schools.
“If not for Dempsey shepherding education money to cities like Haverhill, we’d be in big trouble,” Scully said. “Our costs on everything from special education to gas and utilities have really been rising.”