ATTLEBORO — The school department has a $1 million hole in its projected budget for next fiscal year now that the governor has proposed less state aid than expected, Superintendent David Sawyer said.
The schools are still slated to get a funding boost, Sawyer told the school committee Monday, as Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget would result in $1.5 million more than the schools received this year.
That would bring so-called Chapter 70 funding from the state to $42.8 million.
However, with passage of a school funding reform bill and a proposal to increase statewide spending on education by $300 million, Attleboro schools were expecting more.
“We did not fare as well as we hoped,” Sawyer said.
The budget process for the fiscal year that begins July 1 has just started and Sawyer said the situation could change if the Legislature increases aid above what Baker proposes.
“It’s far too early to hit the panic button,” he said.
The bulk of extra state aid is going to Massachusetts cities with high poverty rates, high special education costs and students who do not speak English as their first language.
Lynn, for instance, is getting a $30 million increase under the governor’s plan.
Eighty percent of the new money will go to 37 school departments, he said.
The state is requiring any district that receives more than $1.5 million to submit an extended form explaining the new services it will pay for to improve education.
“There’s nothing to explain,” Sawyer said, adding the $1.5 million increase is less than the 2.4 percent rate of inflation, so the additional money is not enough to pay for additional services.
The superintendent said the rising cost of out-of-district programs for special education continues to tax the budget.
Sawyer said he and finance director Marc Furtado will be meeting with Mayor Paul Heroux later this month to see how much funding the city can give to the schools.
In a related matter, Sawyer said Heroux has asked Furtado to serve on a screening committee for a new city budget director.