Springfield Republican: Busing costs for Mass. homeless students expected to reach $11.3 million in 2012
February 7, 2012 - The following content was originally published by the Springfield Republican.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump released the results of a statewide survey that found the estimated price tag to bus transient homeless students within and between school districts will reach $11.3 million this year.
Last year’s reported costs reached $10.4 million, according to state figures. The leap is attributed to an approximate 8.5 percent increase in gas prices, and a persistently dour economy driving up the numbers of homeless families, according to Bump’s office.
High numbers of families being sheltered in hotels in urban communities also have driven up costs.
Some of the state’s highest projected totals for busing homeless students hail from Western Massachusetts including $563,000 in Springfield; $431,000 in Chicopee; and $311,000 in Holyoke – where about 10 percent of the student population is homeless. All are examples of cities where hotel sheltering is prevalent.
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Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Auditor finds fault with housing authorities
February 3, 2012 - The following content was originally published by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump said yesterday the housing authorities in Shrewsbury, Millbury and Webster have operating reserves well below the state’s recommended level.
The audits showed all three housing authorities failed to comply with state guidelines requiring that they retain at least 20 percent of their annual budgeted expenditures in an operating reserve.