Legislature Commits to at Least FY20 Funding Levels for Schools and Local Aid

Special to the Transcript

The state will guarantee no less than the FY 20 funding levels for local aid and Chapter 70 education aid for the coming year, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Senator Boncore informed Winthrop officials last week.

In letters to Winthrop Town Manager Austin Faison and Superintendent Lisa Howard, DeLeo and Boncore wrote “the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the Senate, and Governor are committed to unrestricted local aid and Chapter 70 funding amounts that provide baseline funding for Fiscal Year2021, the details of which are available to you through the Division of Local Services.”

The Chapter 70 amounts will reflect inflation and enrollment increases to ensure school districts are at foundation, providing an additional $107M statewide in aid over FY20, which will provide Winthrop with $7,340,903 for Chapter 70, and $4,476,634 for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA.) In addition, new federal supports for schools have been provided through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grants and the School Reopening Fund in order to assist with educating students during the pandemic, which will result in an additional $755,469 for Winthrop.

“Even amid the financial uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, we understand the importance of our local officials knowing what they are facing as soon as possible,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I hope these figures reassure the people of Winthrop that it will be getting no less than it received in FY20.”

“This funding commitment will aid our local communities in meeting immediate needs and support our schools, educators, and students as classes resume this fall,” said Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop).Ê“Our communities are resilient. As we continue to rise to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature remains steadfast in equipping our cities and towns with the resources they need.”  The legislators also vowed to remain committed to supporting the town of Winthrop and the Student Opportunity Act and are in active discussions about thoughtful ways to implement the concepts of SOA while being mindful of the budget shortfall as the state reassesses the FY21 budget situation, including the action of the federal government.

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