An attempt to recover millions of dollars in state school funding proposed by a top Worcester Public Schools administrator may return far less than estimated based on state law, but a councilor who backs the effort plans to remain squarely behind the pursuit at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
“Whatever that number is, my pitch is going to be the same [Tuesday] night. It’s going to be pretty loud and clear that we’re getting screwed,” Councilor at-large Morris A. Bergman told the Sun Monday. “We should be screaming and yelling to get that money back.”
At issue is the inflation rate used to calculate Chapter 70 aid in 2010. In the midst of a budget crunch, the state used an inflation rate of 3.04 percent. That rate was from a different fiscal quarter than the one required by state law. The rate for the required quarter was 6.75 percent.
The difference between the two rates, roughly 3.6 percent, means the city of Worcester would be due about $12 million if a correction was included in the next fiscal budget.
However, the final report of the Foundation Budget Review Commission noted that state law capped inflation at 4.5 percent. The difference between that rate and the rate used would mean the city is due, by statute, roughly $4.6 million in retroactive funding.
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