Friday, June 4, 2021

Support Regional Schools

As a long-time believer in our regional schools, I am happy to share that I succeeded in having the Senate increase the state’s reimbursement rate for regional school transportation costs through the adoption of an amendment I wrote for the state budget bill. I offered an amendment, which was unanimously supported by my colleagues, to increase this amount by $1 million, for a new total of $79,631,818, and a new reimbursement rate above the 90% level. 

Importantly, the budget will now move to a Joint House / Senate Conference Committee for the reconciliation of the House and Senate versions of the budget. The 58 regional school districts deliver students across a large area of the state and this comes at a greater cost. A commitment was made long ago to ensure all pupils can get to and from school and the state would cover those busing expenses as a way to help manage the costs, but for years the rate of reimbursement has strained school district budgets at the local level. 

I will continue to work to overcome the lag in covering all regional school busing costs and I will keep writing legislation to support local taxpayers, students, and school districts.