MILFORD, Mass. – Every year around this time, Massachusetts’ school districts hold their breath as the governor releases an education budget proposal for each town.
Well this time around, the Milford Public School District was thrilled to hear the governor’s proposal for fiscal year 2014.
On Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed $21,149,937 for the Milford school district in Chapter 70 funding, a 13 percent increase from last year when Milford received $18,734,609. Wednesday’s proposal is $2.4 million more than Milford received in fiscal year 2013.
“Wow, my thanks to the governor,” said Milford Superintendent of Schools Robert Tremblay. “We appreciate all the support from the governor. We’re very happy with this increase.”
In past years, Tremblay said that Milford wasn’t “getting its return” on Chapter 70 funding, the state’s primary program for distributing its portion of K-12 public education funding to the state’s local and regional school districts.
The Chapter 70 formula “aims to ensure that each school district has sufficient resources to provide an adequate education for all of its students, taking into account the ability of each local government to contribute,” according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “In short, the formula is designed to have an equalizing effect, with less wealthy districts receiving more state aid than wealthier ones.”
“In the past, we weren’t getting nearly this much, but we still found money to support our schools,” Tremblay said. “I know that Gov. Patrick has been committed to education, and this increase certainly shows it.
“The school district has always worked cooperatively with the Town and Finance committee during budget season, and we look forward to that process in the next few months,” Tremblay added.
In Wednesday's message, Patrick proposed an overall state budget of $34.8 billion with $1.9 billion in tax increases. The highlights of his plan would increase the income tax from 5.25 to 6.25 percent but reduce the sales tax from 6.25 to 4.5 percent.