CHICOPEE — The Chicopee Public Schools Finance and Budget subcommittee met on April 24 to continue their discussion of the preliminary fiscal year 2025 budget.

Chicopee School’s Director of Budget and Finance John Miarecki and Grants Director Kristopher Theriault both gave presentations, but Superintendent Dr. Marcus Ware wanted to share a message before the budget was shared.
He said, “I just like to remind the public that we are still in the preliminary stages of the budget so tonight we have another edition to go over to make sure we explain exactly how we to certain places.”

Miarecki shared the FY25 budget breakdown with budget totals being $128 million, which is an increase from $123.9 million in FY24.

The stabilization fund has increased from the first meeting from $6.5 million to $7.2 million.

“We do have the expectation and our goal to hopefully be able to drive that number down,” Miarecki said.

City costs in FY25 are projected to be approximately $22 million which is about a $1 million increase from FY24.

The insurance costs, administrative services costs and School Choice have still not been finalized so the cost may change, according to Miarecki.

He added that the House budget that just came out and Chicopee is projected to receive an increase of $133,000 to its Chapter 70 funds but it was not included in the presentation because the budget has not officially been approved.

“We don’t want to over expect something before we get it,” Miarecki said.
Theriault gave an overview of the grants the school district received in FY24, and Miarecki gave an updated budget breakdown of FY25 with city costs and the stabilization funds.

Theriault first talked bout his role as grants director.

He said, “The job of managing grants for our school involves overseeing the allocation and utilization of federal, state and private funds. This also includes a coordinating programs and services to improve the academic achievement then, monitoring progress of those various programs make sure all those resources are used.”

Entitlement grants are a type of grant in which recipients are entitled to receive funding based on specific formula, criteria outlined by the grant program itself.
Most grants started on September 2023 and run out on June 30, 2025.

The first grant Chicopee Schools received for FY24 was Title I which was in the amount of $3.67 million. This is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to school districts to help meet the needs of disadvantaged children and ensure all children have the opportunity to receive high-quality education.

Title II grants total $359,000 and is another federal grant that provides financial assistance to states and school districts to improve the quality of teaching and educating in public schools. It is designed to support professional development, training and other activities that are aimed at improving the skills and knowledge of teachers and other school personnel.

Title III grants total $77,000 and provides financial assistance to states and school districts to help English learners achieve academic success and become proficient in English.

Title IV totals $229,871 and supports a wide range of activities and services that are designed to improve the overall health, safety and well-being of students.

Individuals with Disabilities Act 240 and 262 are federal grants to provide funds for two different age groups to ensure children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes related services to meet their individual needs. IDEA 262 was for $93,901.

The final two grants included the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act for $90,000 which makes sure homeless enrolled students attend schools and have racially equitable and culturally responsive opportunities to succeed in school.

There was also a HVAC grant for $1.41 million to address inequitable school facilities’ needs and repairs for improved ventilation and indoor air-quality to support health learning environment in districts and schools.

Theriault concluded by going over the Title I spending and where the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding will be spent which will primarily be used on school safety, HVAC systems and lost learning that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

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