Hold Harmless Holds; School District Sees Slight Increase in State Aid
Unrestricted State Aid to Tewksbury cut by 7.2 percent.
Gov. Deval Patrick today released his recommendations for state aid to communities and school districts, which are contained within his Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Proposal.
The news was good for the Tewskbury School District. Officials learned that the district would receive $12, 317,499 in Ch. 70 money under Patrick's plan, an increase of $65,773 over FY 2011.
These figures mean that Patrick has chosen to maintain the "Hold Harmless" clause, which protects communities like Tewksbury, which have seen sharp reductions in student populations, from having their aid totals slashed. Had "Hold Harmless" been lifted, Tewksbury schools stood to lose between $1.5 and $2.5 million.
Superintendent of Schools John O'Connor said he crafted his budget with the mind-set that "Hold Harmless" would remain. But even so, he has told the School Committee he expects layoffs to be needed. O;'Connor will make his budget presentation to the School Committee Wednesday night.
The news was not quite as good for Town Hall, though it was not unexpected.
Patrick's budget recommendation calls for Tewksbury to receive $2,183,935 in unrestricted state aid. That's a cut of 7.2 percent, or $170,215 from FY 2011.
Town Manager Richard Montuori said Tuesday night that he crafted his budget based on an assumption that state aid would be cut by 10 percent. If the cuts were less, which they could be if the Legislature approved Patrick's Budget proposal, Montuori said he would recommend placing the additional funds into the town's stabilization account.
Last week, Patrick announced he would be cutting state aid by seven percent, while increasing Ch. 70 education funding by five percent. He also said he would be increasing Ch. 90 funding for road and bridge repair.
“This budget makes investments in critical areas that will help strengthen our economy in the near-term, position us for a strong recovery in the long-term, and continue to improve the way government does business,” said Patrick, at a press conference Wednesday. “More jobs. Stronger schools for all our children. Affordable health care. Safer neighborhoods. That’s the work of our second term, and it starts with filing this budget. Through optimism and effort, and support for these proposals, I am confident that our best days lie ahead.”
Below are the state aid figures for Tewksbury and the surrounding communities, according to Gov. Deval Patrick's FY 2012 Budget proposal.
|Community||Ch. 70 Education Funding
||Unrestricted State Aid|