Katherine Craven, the executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, issued a statement in response to the Globe's article about the likelihood that the authority will get up to $100-million less than expected because of a drop in sales tax revenue. The article also said the governor's office will make up the difference this year.
The MSBA also posted a response on its website. Here is Craven's statement:
"Many community leaders who have been working with the MSBA on school construction projects have called our office today, concerned about the security of their agreements with us. I would like to reassure those leaders that the MSBA was reporting to the Board of Directors yesterday that we have accommodated the recent trend of lagging sales tax revenues in our long term finance plan, and still has enough funding to continue developing and funding school building projects in at least 106 communities that are currently in MSBA's capital pipeline.
"Final budgets for these projects will depend upon agreements on mutually affordable and modestly scoped building projects between MSBA and the local community. But, to reiterate, and in spite of these trying fiscal times, the MSBA has set aside funds for every one of the 106 communities whose project is in our existing capital pipeline (details available at www.massschoolbuildings.org)
At this time, the MSBA still anticipates being able to fund $2.5 billion for school projects in over 165 communities that have contacted us over the past few years and whom have filed statements outlining their local school facilities challenges. This means that we will continue to introduce projects into our capital pipeline which have yet to be approved by our Board, and keep our program going. MSBA, chaired by state treasurer Tim Cahill, has been extremely conservative with our expectations of future sales tax trends and has budgeted accordingly with our motto of "never over-promising and under-delivering." MSBA's program will continue to fund local public school construction grants as planned.''