BOSTON – Senator Patricia Jehlen, Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Michael Day have announced that the recently passed state budget includes major investments in the Town of Winchester and funds a number of its fiscal priorities.
Under this budget, Winchester will receive a total of $9,421,254 in Chapter 70 education funding this year, an increase of $377,989 over the last year’s budget. Crucially, the budget fully funds the state’s Special Education Circuit Breaker program, meaning that the program will reimburse districts for high special education costs up to the full 75 percent, as stipulated in statute.
Acknowledging the unique budgetary impacts of charter school enrollment and tuition reimbursement on municipal budgets, the state budget allocates $115 million in order to ensure that the state meets its obligations to towns and cities to offset the fiscal impact of charter schools.
Sen. Jehlen, Sen. Lewis and Rep. Day fought successfully to secure funding for several additional local priorities, including:
$50,000 to support the completion of a landscape master plan for Mill and Judkins ponds
$100,000 towards the design and construction of the Whip Saltmarsh Garden Terrace
“I am very grateful to Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, Senate President Spilka, and to my colleagues in the legislature for our continued and reiterated commitment to increasing education funding and equity. Once again we are taking real steps toward implementing the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission,” said Sen. Jehlen. “It is also encouraging that local programs and resources that have a direct impact on the district were supported in this budget, whether to help with the beautification of our parks, improve safety on our roadways, or offer financial support for programs that provide critical services to our most vulnerable residents.”
“I’m proud that this year’s budget delivers record levels of funding to Winchester for local schools and other municipal services,” said Sen. Lewis. “I’m particularly pleased that we were also able to secure funding for exciting local projects like the Whip Saltmarsh Garden Terrace and the master plan for Mill and Judkins ponds.”
“This budget reflects our shared priorities in delivering a fiscally responsible, balanced budget for the State that also increases local aid to our community and makes historic investments in our future,” said Rep. Day. “We worked hard to make sure we funded Winchester’s priorities while we made significant increases in the areas of education, housing and the environment, and I thank my colleagues for working with me to pass this budget.”
Having been passed by the House and Senate, the legislation now goes to Governor Baker for his signature.