Pembroke Schools, Senior Funds Added to COVID Relief Bill

Rep. Cutler & Sen. Moran amendments will help fund Instructional Technology Improvements and Senior Transportation in Pembroke

(STATE HOUSE, Boston, MA) – The Mass. House and Senate have both approved a supplemental budget to provide additional relief for COVID related expenses, including funds for personal protective equipment, field hospitals and contact tracing. Included are a pair of amendments filed by Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) and Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke) to direct additional funds to the town of Pembroke.

One amendment will provide $100,000 to the Pembroke Public Schools for technology and remote learning related expenses. Another amendment will direct $70,000 to the Pembroke Council on Aging to purchase an additional van to better accommodate senior transportation needs.

Rep. Cutler added, “We know that town budgets are tight and wherever we can find ways to direct funds back to our cities and towns is vitally important. These amendments will provide much needed resources to help our schools and our seniors adjust to COVID-19 and reduce the burden on local taxpayers. I’m very pleased to work with Sen. Moran collaboratively to secure these funds for the town.”

As part of Governor Baker’s education guidance, school districts are required to create three separate re-opening plans. One of those plans must be for completely remote learning in the Fall. Another plan must be for a hybrid model that includes both remote and in-person learning.

These plans will require support from the state and investment by school districts to ensure that remote learning still meets the needs of students. The amendment for school technology expenses will help cover that cost.  Similarly, the Council on Aging will benefit from additional van to accommodate social distance guidance and ensure safe transportation for local seniors. 

The House and Senate bills will be reconciled and then sent to Governor Baker for his approval. The budget is facilitated by federal CARES Act funding in respond to the COVID pandemic.

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