The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School district committee voted this week to certify an $18.7 million budget for the coming year.

Superintendent Matthew D'Andrea is keeping a tight rein on spending this year. — Mark Lovewell

Projected spending is essentially flat and will rise just .4 per cent in fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1.

After some discussion at the meeting Monday night, school committee members agreed to keep the special education director position. Money for the post had been redirected in the budget toward education services. But school leaders changed course after hearing criticism from parents and teachers over the move.

“Certainly the feedback we’ve gotten has caused us to think about exactly what we’re doing,” Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. Matthew D’Andrea said at the well-attended meeting. “At this point, Peg [acting high school principal Margaret Regan] and I have decided we’re going to leave the position in. We will continue to evaluate that position and frankly, all administration positions here at the high school to make sure that we have it organized in the a way that is best serving the school and the students in the school.”

There will be some modest trimming. One physical education position has been eliminated and a second assistant principal slot will not be filled; the people in both positions have retired.

Mrs. Regan, former longtime high school principal who is filling in this year while a search for a new principal takes place, said in the seven years since she left, the high school administration increased from three to seven positions while enrollment dropped from 829 to 654.

Mr. D’Andrea agreed that more efficiency is needed. “We’re looking at how we can reuse the staff,” he said. “We have the staff, we have the needs, let’s use the staff we have for those needs.”

Assistant principal Andrew Berry attended his last meeting before retirement and received laurels. — Mark Lovewell

Budget increases include the transportation line item which will go up about $38,000. Changes in service and an increased fleet are partly the cause.

In instruction, a part-time maritime sciences program will be added along with a half-time culinary teacher in the vocational school.

Altogether, the budget increases add up to $73,601.54.

Town assessments will increase 2.41 per cent, mainly due to declining state reimbursements. Last year excess and deficiency funds were used to offset those losses and soften the blow to town assessments.

In other business, the committee approved a cooperative agreement with the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School that will allow charter school students to join the high school swim team.

Assistant principal Andrew Berry attended his last high school committee meeting before retirement.

His colleague Elliott Bennett thanked Mr. Berry for the years he served.

“It was so clear that he loved teaching and he loved the students; when he became an administrator it continued,” she said. “The dignity that he showed our students, the respect . . . he has been a fabulous mentor, and there’s pearls of wisdom that come out of Andy without him even knowing it or trying. I’m so appreciative that I’ve had a least one and a half years as an administrator with you and that I’ve had 10 years with you. You will be greatly missed. And thank you for everything.”