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, Senator Boncore and Representative Vincent informed Revere officials last week.
In letters to Mayor Brian Arrigo and Superintendent Dianne Kelly, DeLeo, Boncore and Vincent 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 Revere with $70,298,333 for Chapter 70 and $10,923,350 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 $3.98 million for Revere.
“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 Revere 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). “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.”
“Given the economic challenges our Commonwealth and country face as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic, I am thrilled that we as state leaders are able to commit no less than FY-2020’s local aid to Revere,” said Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere). “I thank Speaker DeLeo and Senator Boncore for their teamwork on this. Maintaining and increasing local aid is always a budgetary priority for me, and I am glad that we are able to at the very least maintain these funding levels during such an uncertain time.”
The legislators also vowed to remain committed to supporting the City of Revere 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.
“We are grateful that local aid was not reduced from the previous fiscal year. This is a reflection of our state delegation’s commitment to assisting the communities they serve, and it is especially critical this year in the midst of daunting economic uncertainty due to the Covid 19 pandemic,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “We especially thank Gov. Charlie Baker, Speaker Bob DeLeo, Senator Joe Boncore, and Representative Roselee Vincent. The local aid announcement actually exceeds the amount we anticipated in our FY21 budget because we anticipated a shortfall arising from pandemic economic losses. Revere’s careful and conservative approach to budgeting provides our city with a promising outlook for continued economic stability despite the economic hardship imposed by the pandemic. We will remain vigilant and conservative in the way we approach municipal finance, and we will continue to work in conjunction with the state to make sure that our municipal government can provide its services to the public despite the threats we face due to Covid 19.