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Governor's proposal reduces Beverly local aid by 3.6 percent

Posted by Sean Teehan  April 13, 2011 11:22 AM

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Beverly would receive 3.6 percent less local aid than last year if Governor Deval Patrick's proposed budget passed the legislature.

The proposal appropriates about $12 million dollars in local aid to the city next fiscal year, according to data from the state Department of Revenue. The cut would provide Beverly with about $448,000 less in local aid funds than the town received in the 2011 fiscal year.

"We were afraid it might be worse," said Mayor William F. Scanlon, Jr.

As Beverly writes its budget, officials are "holding our powder for the moment," waiting for the state House and Senate to chime in rather than use the governor's proposal as a template for their local aid appropriation, Scanlon said.

The city would receive a 0.5 percent bump in Chapter 70 funds, which go to public education, data indicated. The money amounts to an approximate $36,000 increase in funding.

"We're basically getting level funding," said Marie Galinski, Beverly's Superintendent of Schools. "But level funding doesn't mean level services."

Scanlon typically increases school funds from the city by $1 million each year, Galinski said. Beverly school officials are currently writing their budget under the assumption that this year will be no different.

Galinski, however, noted that nothing is set in stone.

 "The mayor may ask us to take a cut," Galinski said.

The governor's proposal must go through the House, Senate, and a conference committee before going into effect when the 2012 fiscal year begins July 1.

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