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Massachusetts Blog

FY15 budget proposal from Governor Patrick strong on education

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We were thrilled that Governor Patrick’s FY15 budget proposal prioritizes investments in early and K-12 education. Last week, the Governor unveiled his $36.4B spending plan, including a $205M increase for public education funding from current levels. The proposal includes significant investments targeted towards increasing high-quality early education spots, expansion of pre-k through Chapter 70, and overall unprecedented increases to Chapter 70 local aid for school districts. Key highlights include:

  • An additional $20M to increase the number of early education spots available to low-income families
  • $15M in new funding to remove about 1,700 qualified children from the income eligible child care wait list
  • Lifting the cap on the number of pre-school spots public school districts can offer
  • An additional $100M Chapter 70 funding (funding that flows from the state to local school districts) bringing total Chapter 70 aid to $4.4B
  • Increase of $25 per pupil aid to school districts
  • Level funding of $252M for the Special Education Circuit Breaker

The Governor’s proposal is grounded in making significant steps towards closing achievement gaps and ensuring all students are prepared to succeed in the classroom and beyond. The income eligible waitlist has been highlighted as a key improvement area for the Department of Early Education and Care, with over 40,000 children waiting for subsidized early education spots. The budget also includes an additional section calling for the establishment of a Foundation Budget Review Commission to review the state’s funding formula to local school districts (Chapter 70). The formula has not been updated since 1993. If established, the Commission would convene at least 4 public hearings and file recommendations to the legislature every four years.

For more information on the Governor’s Budget please click here.

Comments

If this is the case, why is BPS in the financial condition it is for 2015? between rising expenses, lowered costs from the state, many schools- even with an increase in funding are facing serious shortfalls. What are you doing to help?

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