The town of Andover received its highest allocation of education money ever from the state budget that was ratified by the Senate at the end of July, according to State Senator Barry Finegold.
The chapter 70 education funding allotment for Andover for fiscal year 2013 is $7,950,343, which is more than a $1 million increase, or 14.5 percent, over last year’s funding. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the largest increases of chapter 70 funding in one year Andover has ever seen.
This drastic increase was unexpected; the Andover School Committee based their budget on numbers proposed by the House of Representatives, which was $600,000 less than the Senate and final budget allocations.
“I’ve made local aid a priority, especially education funding, which has been a main concern for Andover in the past. I’m proud to have voted for and supported such a significant increase in dollars for the town’s education system,” Finegold said. “The Board of Selectmen and School Committee have been lobbying hard for increases in local aid, and I’ve made sure their needs were heard.”
Additionally, the budget fully funds the state’s obligation for the Special Education Circuit Breaker for first time in years, ensuring that students with special needs receive the services and education they deserve. Andover is eligible to be reimbursed up to $2,550,032, an increase of over $200,000 from last year.
The Massachusetts Municipal Association applauded the legislature’s FY2013 budget, saying: “By passing this budget, every legislator is demonstrating their commitment to local aid and their determination to invest in cities and towns as an essential step in the state’s economic recovery.”