The MSBA Accelerates $97 Million in Payments to Cities, Towns and Regional School Districts

May 18, 2010

State Treasurer Tim Cahill, Chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) and Katherine Craven, MSBA Executive Director, today announced that the MSBA has expedited $97 million in payments to 72 cities, towns and regional school districts for school building projects that were inherited from the former school building assistance program administered by the former Department of Education. These funds will provide much needed cash to communities at a time of local fiscal strain.

Among the 72 communities receiving payments today are: Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Hingham, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Springfield and Worcester.
 
“The MSBA has always exerted fiscal restraint, and as a result we are able to help communities by making these payments more than six weeks early and provide them with much needed financial relief,” Treasurer Cahill said.  
 
“The MSBA’s flexibility to accelerate payments is another benefit to cities, towns and regional school districts, especially in these tough economic times,” said Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the MSBA.
 
The MSBA inherited 1,156 projects from the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education. That program had accumulated $11 billion in debt for school construction projects. Through strong fiscal oversight and programmatic reform, the MSBA has developed a new “Pro-Pay” system that promptly audits project invoices and reimburses communities for eligible costs while they build. The new system replaced the practice in which communities would sometimes wait years to receive their first payment from the state. “Pro-Pay” payments have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to municipalities in these difficult economic times. 
 
The MSBA is collaborating with municipalities to equitably invest $2.5 billion in schools across the Commonwealth by finding the right-sized, most fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solutions to create safe and sound learning environments.