The House and Senate Ways & Means committees have reached a local aid agreement for the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget. This agreement provides certainty and predictability for our cities and towns, funds the first year of the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) and ensures we get back on schedule to fully implement the SOA by Fiscal Year 2027.
As part of this agreement, the aid included is Chapter 70, Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER).
Specifically, the agreement funds Chapter 70 at its highest level ever at $5.503 billion, an increase of $219.6 million over FY 2021. It also creates a $40 million enrollment reserve fund targeted to stabilize school districts adversely impacted by pandemic-related enrollment changes. Lastly, it funds Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) at $1.16 billion, an increase of $39.5 million over FY 2021, providing additional local aid support to our cities and towns.
“I am both grateful and pleased that the House and Senate Ways & Means committees were able to come to an agreement on local aid for fiscal year 2022,” said Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury). “It is critical that we support the students and schools in our local communities, and this local aid will allow both to be prepared as we move back towards in-person learning.”
The town of Auburn received the following in each category of funding:
UGGA – $1,882,205
Chapter 70 – $12,284,561
ESSER Funds – Projected $2,202,142
This agreement builds off the $2.6B in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding that school districts have received to date. The agreement also recognizes the impact that COVID-19 has created as it pertains to enrollment. Therefore, an enrollment reserve fund has been established to stabilize school districts that are experiencing higher levels of enrollment, while also supporting needs such as transportation, instruction and materials to create a smooth transition back to in-person learning.
As we continue to work towards finalizing the FY 2022 budget, this agreement on local aid reflects the support the legislature maintains in supporting students and schools throughout the Commonwealth.