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CHICOPEE — During the School Committee meeting on June 5, Superintendent Marcus Ware presented the proposed fiscal year 2025 budget.

After viewing the presentation, the School Committee approved approximately $126 million for the proposed FY25 school budget.

Ware presented the budget that he, Chicopee School’s Director of Budget and Finance John Miarecki and others have been working on for months.

After multiple presentations at Chicopee Public Schools Finance and Budget Subcommittee meetings, the proposed budget was presented at the School Committee meeting.

Ware confirmed that there are no layoffs in this budget after discussing with administration.

He added, “As we were cleaning up the budget and trying to figure out what we were really trying to meet the needs of our buildings, we did have conversations and say if you haven’t filled this position or have this number of paraprofessionals for example, there were positions on the books that were not in the budget, not filled or do a reorganization.”

This means that someone has not lost their job, it means they were put in another building where they were needed.

Ware added, “Nobody was laid off per se, but there was reorganization and that is within the purview of trying to figure out what a needs-based budget looks like in each building.”

There were also no after school program cuts. Ware said that there were even some after school programs added at different schools.

In past subcommittee meetings, Mirecki and Ware said that the district is trying to create a more “needs based” budget which takes two or three years to implement and is a more data informed allocation of resources.

The presentation broke down each budget line item, showed the budget history, summaries of each school in terms of MCAS and spending, ESSER spending and demographics of the district.

The first section of the presentation showed the history of the budget since 2016.

Chapter 70 funds have drastically increased over the last 10 years, according to Ware, which he said, “is in direct relationship to the cost of education increasing over the last decade as well as the state recognizing that there are specific categories when it comes to the Student Opportunity Act.”

Chapter 70 funds have increased from $59 million to $93 million, which is the proposed budget amount from the state.

The city contributions hovered around $30 million from 2016 to 2020 and from 2021 to 2025, it increased $5 million.

Ware said, “That’s what the actual city gives to us after we approve the budget here and we go to City Council, that is what they give us.”

For FY25, the combination of Chapter 70 funds and city contribution is approximately $129 million.

He added that the budget will be made available on the school website since it has been approved at www.chicopeeps.org.

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