Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced today that he will set aside $5 million for the Regional School Transportation Reimbursement Fund (RTR) through a supplemental allotment for fiscal year 2015.
Regional school districts use the RTR to deposit state regional transportation reimbursements. Any funds unused at the end of a fiscal year roll over to the following year, but must be used by the end of that year. Districts are required to estimate what their future reimbursements will be as they plan their budgets for the next fiscal year.
The RTR supports student transportation for 85 regional school systems throughout Massachusetts.
“Our communities depend on local aid for transportation and education and that support remains a top priority for our administration despite the budget deficit we inherited upon taking office,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to include in our budget proposal significant increases for education and are pleased to now take this step to support those districts that need it.”
The previous governor, Deval Patrick, cut funding for the RTR last year by 25 percent.
“The large 9c regional transportation cut by the previous administration has caused fiscal concerns within regions,” said Stephen Hemman, executive director for the Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools. “This will help toward providing regions with funds that they were counting on receiving this year. We clearly understand what the Baker administration faced when they came into office and we say thank you for your efforts in providing these funds.”