LOWELL --- In order to address the city's multi-million dollar schools spending shortfall, City Manager Bernie Lynch is requesting the City Council vote Tuesday night to transfer $2 million to the School Department.

Lynch is requesting the transfer be made from the city's Chapter 17 reserve account, which means the council would have to replenish the account next fiscal year.

The proposed transfer comes one week after it was publicly revealed the city came up $3.8 million short of meeting its net school spending requirement in the fiscal year ending June 30.

The same letter recently sent to the city by Mitchell Chester, the state commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, identifying last year's shortfall, projected a $4.6 million shortfall by the end of the current fiscal year.

In a statement to The Sun, Lynch said the transfer he is proposing would address more than half of the fiscal 2013 shortfall. Lynch said the remaining shortfall should be addressed next fiscal year.

He expects a reduction in the city's charter school assessment of $1.1 million and a potential $1.4 million charter school reimbursement to provide free cash that could be used to address the shortfall next year.

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