Mayor Jon Mitchell says his administration is ready to deal with the reported deficit in the School Department budget. 

During his State of the City address on Thursday, the Mayor said he was filing a funding proposal with the city council to deal with the shortfall.

In a letter to the Council, Mitchell said the state has certified more than $7-million in free cash for the City of New Bedford, so he's urging the Council to transfer $2 million of that to the School Dept.

The Mayor also announced steps to reform the School Dept's budgeting process....

City Council President Bruce Duarte says he's glad the Mayor is taking action to address the budget issues in the School Dept.

Mitchell says the School Dept. Is also hiring a new business manager, and recently raised the salary for the position.  The Mayor says he will not settle for anything less than a first rate professional.

The Mayor also announced plans to use free cash to purchase up to 18 new Police cruisers, something the Council has been calling for, for months.