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Left out of funding pool

Southbridge, Bay Path won't receive Jobs Fund cash

August 29, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Although not thrilled with the outcome, local educators weren't surprised to hear that Southbridge isn't getting any money from the recently passed federal Education Jobs Fund.

According to School Committee Chairman John Jovan Jr., the non-payment recognizes the fact that, several months ago, the Legislature cut Chapter 70 school aid in most towns by 4 percent. But Southbridge avoided that slash "since we were already at foundation," Jovan said.

"We definitely have a need for additional educational money," he added. "The state and federal governments keep putting more and more mandates on us" but keep cutting school aid.

Ironically, Jonathan Palumbo, spokesman for the Executive Office of Education, noted this money was "based on financial need as opposed to academic need."

"Southbridge was one of 11 [districts] that was already above foundation," he said. "I have heard from some of them saying, 'It's all well and good you got us to foundation, but we still hoped for some funding'" from this bill.

He said the state calculated whether a district would get money by combining data from Chapter 70, last year's stimulus funding, and this bill to "ensure that all districts received at least $25 per pupil above their foundation." In this area, districts which had done so prior to this money's disbursement were Southbridge, Auburn, Wales and Bay Path Regional.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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