With Sen. Lesser's Support, MA Senate Increases Aid to Hampden-Wilbraham School District

The Massachusetts Senate adopted a budget amendment increasing funding for school transportation in regional school districts, including Hampden-Wilbraham, by $2.5 million to a total of $59,021,000. “School transportation has been one of the most difficult challenges for the Hampden-Wilbraham district,” Lesser said. “This measure will provide much-needed relief, and free up local money for other priorities.”

“I was pleased to learn that Senator Lesser and the MA State Senate have supported an increase in Regional School Transportation funding,” said Hampden-Wilbraham School Superintendent Martin O’Shea. “As a District covering over 40 square miles, HWRSD relies on Regional Transportation Aid to provide thousands of students with safe transportation to and from school.”

The amendment, which passed the Senate, increases reimbursement rates to 73 percent for all school districts, including Hampden-Wilbraham. This represents a notable increase from the projected FY15 rate of 64 percent, and a significant increase since FY11, when the rate was 58 percent.

In 2014, the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District faced a significant budget shortfall, when state aid for school transportation was abruptly cut.