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State to Pay Westborough $120K to Bus Homeless Students

The Legislature will fund this federal mandate.

About 37 homeless students from other communities are residing in Westborough hotels, school committee Chairman Ilyse Levine-Kanji said Monday night.

The town has spent $120,000 busing 31 of those students back to their home districts at their families’ request, per a federal mandate, Levine-Kanji  Kanji told voters at the special town meeting. The students came from “as far west as Springfield,” School Superintendent Marianne O’Connor said. The other six students attend Westborough schools, Levine-Kanji said.

Federal officials did not fund its mandate to communities to bus students whom they placed in hotels in their towns, Leving-Kanji said.

The Legislature has since funded it, Town Manager Jim Malloy said in his statement in the town meeting warrant. Levine-Kanji said communities will be reimbursed.

Voters approved the school board’s request to raise and appropriate $120,000 for this purpose, with the reimbursement expected.

“We deferred maintenance because we were forced to pay this bill,” school committee Vice Chairman Stephen Doret said.

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