One week after making a $4 million dollar cut to School Department funding, the City Council voted unanimously Thursday to restore that money to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

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The School Committee had asked for the restoration on Tuesday during an emergency meeting. Councilor-at-Large John Saunders feels more comfortable with giving the money back, now that the Committee is offering to have finance meetings with the Council.

Even with new school leadership being put in place, Ward Five councilor Jane Gonsalves says strict oversight of school finances needs to continue.

New business manager Patrick Murphy and Superintendent Pia Durkin both take office on July 1st. The Council also voted to give $400,000 in additional funding, to restore 10 fine arts and elementary teaching positions. Over 100 students and educators rallied outside City Hall before the Council meeting, to support restoring those positions.

A Fine Arts supporter holds a sign during a rally Thursday outside City Hall, supporting the restoration of several Arts teaching positions in New Bedford schools. (Credit: TSM)