TO: Media List
FROM: The Committee to Elect Aaron Vega
DATE: Tuesday, March 22
RE: State Representative Aaron Vega to hold re-election announcement
event on Wednesday, February 17
CONTACT: Kristen Beam, Deputy Campaign Manager,
or 413-210-8413

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Fifth Hampden) is joining a broad
coalition of lawmakers seeking an increase in school aid under the
state’s education funding formula.

MORE: View the Letter (PDF)

In a letter sent to House and Senate budget makers this week, Vega
advocated for a boost in minimum per pupil aid to help local school
districts that may not otherwise qualify for additional funding.

Under the current Chapter 70 formula, the vast majority of school
districts across Massachusetts receive only this minimal increase each
year. Yet these school districts face rising expenses every year to
maintain existing services and most of these cost drivers, including
energy and health care rates, contractual obligations and testing
mandates, are beyond the control of local districts.

“As we move to make the Holyoke Public schools the first and best
choice for our families, additional funding would ensure our extended
learning time plans can be fully implemented,” said Vega. “It would
mean additional funding for enrichment and after school programs. It
would mean closing the gap in our special needs programs. And it would
ease the burden on our city budget.”

The joint request, co-signed by more than 70 Democrats and
Republicans, calls for an increase in minimum aid from current level
$20 under a budget proposal filed by the governor, up to $50 for the
upcoming fiscal year. On a statewide basis, the request would add
about $20 million to the entire Chapter 70 line item.

The FY2017 state budget is expected to be released this spring and
will be finalized by July. Details on the budget are available online