House Ways and Means Local Aid Numbers, FY2013 Budget

The House Ways and Means Committee has released its draft budget. Local aid numbers for each community appear following the text below.

The Committee has proposed three important increases in local aid.

  • Include $65 million in budgeted general government aid that was, in the Governor’s budget, to be contingent on the state’s year-end financial results. This will allow municipalities to use these amounts in the budget planning for the coming fiscal year.
  • Guarantee a minimum Chapter 70 increase of $40 per student. This helps all of my communities — in the Governor’s budget, only Arlington received received an increase. Note: The actual language of Section 3 in the House Budget does not specify the $40 minimum, but the increase to the total is consistent with my version of the Chapter 70 model — see further dicussion below.
  • Increase special education Circuit Breaker funding by 4% to $221.6 million. This may allow a higher state reimbursement percentage for high cost out-of-district special education placements or, at least, will keep reimbursements growing with inflation.

The Committee cuts the Governor’s recommendation for Kindergarten expansion grants from $25.9 to $24.9 million.

The Senate has not yet defined its local aid numbers — there is no agreement with the House in advance, so some level of uncertainty will continue. However, it is always very difficult for the Senate to go below the House numbers. I am hopeful that the Senate Budget will include at least the local aid increases proposed and also that we can do better on the kindergarten grants. I have included all of these items among my top priorities in communicating with the Senate Ways and Means Committee as they form their budget draft. See my budget letter here.

The Chapter 70 allocation in the Governor’s draft was particularly unfavorable to Watertown, Cambridge and a number of other similarly situated communities. Over the past few months, I have been researching and advocating alternatives. I have enhanced the Department of Education and Secondary Education Chapter 70 model to facilitate exploration of options. I have spoken with a number of legislators and staff on both the House and Senate side about modifications to the formula that would deliver a fairer result. The approach taken by the House Ways and Means Committee — guaranteeing every community a minimum $40 increase — is not an approach that I recommended, but it does help and it has the virtue of simplicity.

The total amount of additional funds allocated to Chapter 70 by HWM is $18.52 million. Using my version of the Chapter 70 model, you can check that the $18.52 million is consistent with a $40 minimum increase and also explore the impact of other options.

Click here for more on local aid generally. See below for the latest numbers for each community.

Governor's FY14 Proposed
Chapter 709,768,4396,355,373209,416,33813,009,0344,984,927
Unrestricted Government Aid6,416,9091,909,790160,247,30118,170,6905,641,884
Annual Formula Local Aid128,25453,2202,132,151251,339107,655
Total Section 3 Aid16,313,6028,318,383371,795,79031,431,06310,734,476
Change from FY131,787,197684,3503,689,6764,368,2101,751,058
FY13 budgeted
Chapter 708,109,4965,724,243207,858,8138,892,1633,341,524
Unrestricted Government Aid6,416,9091,909,790160,247,30118,170,6905,641,884
Total Section 3 Aid14,526,4057,634,033368,106,11427,062,8538,983,408
Changes from Senate Ways and Means budgeted-7,279-2,166-181,767-20,611-6,399
Senate Ways and Means FY13 Budget
Chapter 708,109,4965,724,243207,858,8138,892,1633,341,524
Unrestricted Government Aid6,424,1881,911,956160,429,06818,191,3015,648,283
Total Section 3 Aid14,533,6847,636,199368,287,88127,083,4648,989,807
Change from House Budgeted for FY1313,8322,166181,80720,6116,399
House Budgeted for FY13
Chapter 708,102,9435,724,243207,858,7738,892,1633,341,524
Unrestricted Government Aid6,416,9091,909,790160,247,30118,170,6905,641,884
Total Section 3 Aid14,519,8527,634,033368,106,07427,062,8538,983,408
Change from Governor's FY13 Proposed (House 2)463,939291,00614,030,8641,562,856515,212
Governor's FY13 Proposed (House 2)
Chapter 708,102,9435,571,323205,414,453 8,643,123 3,234,244
Unrestricted Government Aid5,952,9401,771,704148,660,757 16,856,874 5,233,952
Total Section 3 Aid14,055,8837,343,027354,075,21025,499,9978,468,196
Change from FY12 Budgeted9.50%0%0%0%0%
FY12 Budgeted
Chapter 70 6,880,580 5,571,323 205,414,453 8,643,123 3,234,244
Unrestricted Government Aid 5,952,940 1,771,704 148,660,757 16,856,874 5,233,952
Total Section 3 (Major Program) Aid per Budget 12,833,520 7,343,027 354,075,210 25,499,997 8,468,196
Additional Local Aid Distributed 10/31/2011463,969138,08611,586,5441,313,816407,932

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.