Sen. Lesser, Rep. Wagner and Chicopee Delegation Unveil $4.89 Million Increase for Chicopee Schools Passed in Legislature's 2020 Budget

CHICOPEE — Senator Eric P. Lesser, Senator James T. Welch, Representative Joseph F. Wagner and Representative Thomas M. Petrolati were at Dupont Memorial Middle School in Chicopee Monday to announce a major increase in funding for Chicopee Public Schools passed in the Legislature’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos and a host of city and school officials accepted a check from the legislators for $4.89 million, representing the increase in school funding Chicopee will receive as long as Gov. Charlie Baker signs the budget passed by the House and Senate on July 22 as expected.

“This is the strongest budget for our schools that we have seen in decades,” said Sen. Lesser. “Chicopee schools will receive millions more dollars after Gov. Baker signs this budget, which is terrific news for our students, for this city, and for our community at large.” 

At the announcement, Sen. Lesser also said he hopes legislators can soon agree on an update to the funding formula for the state’s schools, known as Chapter 70, which was last updated in 1993.

“The way we fund our schools is more than 20 years old, which is archaic at this point. Society has changed, the jobs people compete for have changed, technology has advanced way beyond what we had in 1993. The way we educate our kids needs to reflect this, and the way we fund that education needs to be updated,” Sen. Lesser added. 

Each of the school districts Sen. Lesser represents will see increases in funding for their schools under the Legislature’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020, including Chicopee, Longmeadow and Springfield:

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Eric Lesser