BOSTON – State Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) recently participated in the newly revitalized Regional Schools Caucus’s first meeting. The caucus will bring together legislators and regional school districts to advocate for solutions to issues specific to the challenges faces by regional school districts. The caucus will meet and address issues as they arise, and will primarily serve as a way for legislators to connect better with the needs of regional school districts throughout the Commonwealth.
The Regional Schools Caucus has met sporadically over the years to discuss obstacles facing regional school districts. At the first meeting of the caucus, the primary topic was the funding of regional school transportation, as the House and Senate budgets are currently being resolved in a conference committee. As an important source of local aid, the regional school transportation funding reimburses cities and towns for the transportation costs of students attending regional schools.
“The regional schools caucus provides an opportunity for legislators to come together to address the unique challenges faced by regional schools,” said Rep. Benson, who represents constituents of the Ayer-Shirley Regional School District and the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. “I look forward to working with my fellow legislators to advocate for the regional districts in my district and throughout the Commonwealth.”
This year’s House budget allocated $51.5 million for Regional School Transportation. The caucus recently sent a joint letter to Committee on Ways and Means chairs Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Brian Dempsey to request regional school transportation receive more funding in the final FY16 state budget.