BOSTON — New Bedford Public Schools is set to receive an additional $14.5 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

In the final version of the FY2020 state budget, passed by both chambers of the Legislature today, Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-New Bedford) successfully secured funding for several New Bedford organizations and programs, including significant increases in Chapter 70 funding for the New Bedford Public Schools.

Representative Cabral fought to include the local priorities he secured in the House version in the final budget, including a new funding initiative involving citizenship and workforce readiness programs at the Immigrants Assistance Center (IAC) in New Bedford.

The final budget provides $159,830,964 in state funding, or “Chapter 70” money, for the New Bedford Public Schools, a significant increase of over $14.5 million compared to last fiscal year. The City of New Bedford is also set to receive $24,427,447 in unrestricted general government aid (UGGA), an increase of roughly $642,000 from last year’s UGGA allocation.

“With increased revenue this fiscal year, the Legislature has been both judicious and strategic in terms of making the right investments in communities like New Bedford,” Rep. Cabral.

“New Bedford will get to reap the benefits of significant increases in public education funding and local aid—our public schools and city services require this level of investment. Meanwhile, community organizations like Dennison Memorial and the Women’s Center serve important populations within our City and I am proud to fight for this funding each and every budget cycle.”

Representative Cabral secured the following for New Bedford:

-$175,000 for opioid abuse treatment at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, a $25,000 increase over last year’s funding amount.

-$100,000 for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, education, and counseling programs at the Women’s Center in New Bedford.

-$100,000 for the Zeiterion Theatre.

-$100,000 for Youth Court programs in New Bedford and Fall River.

-$100,000 for New Bedford’s Department of Community Services to support the after-school Girls STEAM Design Academy program

-$80,000 for youth programs at the Dennison Memorial Community Center.

-$75,000 for citizenship and workforce readiness programming at the Immigrants Assistance Center, Inc.

-$75,000 for outreach and educational programming at AHA! Arts, History, & Architecture of New Bedford.

-$75,000 for water quality monitoring for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, a $25,000 increase over last year’s funding amount.

-$50,000 for the Frederick Douglass House of New Bedford.

-$25,000 for the youth apprenticeship program at the New Bedford Festival Theatre.

Leading as House Chairman, the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus was also successful in advocating for a component of its large-scale Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative. In the final budget, $750,000 will be committed to addressing abandoned and blighted properties through a program to be implemented via the well-established Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) run by MassDevelopment.

“New Bedford and other Gateway Cities have not experienced the same real estate rebound as the Greater Boston area since the Great Recession,” explained Rep. Cabral.

“That said, New Bedford requires additional resources in terms of hands-on, technical assistance to address blight and vacant properties. This new component of the TDI Fund was a critical victory for the Caucus and we look forward to its successful implementation.”

The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus was also successful in advocating for specific line item allocation increases listed below:

  • $90,500,000 for our Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), a $2.5 million increase over last year’s allocation

Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), Southeastern Massachusetts’ RTA, will directly benefit from this funding increase.

  • $2,000,000 for Dual Enrollment grants, which enable high school students to earn college credit.
  • $1,450,000 for the Community College Workforce Training Incentive program.
  • $1,000,000 for the English Language Learners Gateway Cities grant program, a $750,000 increase over last year’s allocation.

Rep. Cabral also won $450,000 for fisheries research at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), $300,000 for the state-wide Parent-Child Home Program, which provides New Bedford children and families with individualized educational support, and $1,026,575 for the Citizenship for New Americans Program (CNAP), an initiative that helps low-income, permanent legal residents of Massachusetts in the process of becoming U.S. citizens.

The final budget now awaits the Governor’s signature.

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