• Boston Globe: Mass. towns can seek aid for busing homeless students

    October 29, 2011

    State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump's determination Thursday that forcing municipalities to pay for the transportation and education of homeless students living in motels and shelters is an unfunded mandate has paved the way for communities to lobby the Legislature for funding.

    "It certainly strengthens our position to seek funding in the Legislature," state Representative Theodore C. Speliotis, a Danvers Democrat, said yesterday. "It's a very big victory for cities and towns that have borne these costs over the last few years."

    The issue has been in contention since Speliotis asked Bump's office a year ago to review the state's participation in the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which gives homeless families placed in temporary housing by the state the option to attend school in their home district or the district where they are sheltered. Under the act, if a family chooses to send children to school in their home district, the cost must be shared by that district and the district where the shelter is located.

    Read more from the Boston Globe 

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    10/29/11 - Springfield Republican

  • Springfield Republican: Remaining problems at Agawam Housing Authority

    October 5, 2011

    The Agawam Housing Authority is improving financial oversight of its operations, but remains hurt by "excessive delays" in re-renting empty units and sanitary violations in some residential units, the state auditor said in an audit released on Tuesday.

    The audit by Auditor Suzanne M. Bump is a follow-up to a 2007 audit that criticized the authority's board and a former executive director for poor decisions and lax oversight of its operations.

    "I'd like to acknowledge the Agawam Housing Authority's Board of Directors for being responsive to many of the findings of our past audit," Bump stated on Tuesday. "The challenges that persist in the authority plague many housing managers statewide. I hope the authority can continue its progress."

    Read more in the Springfield Republican