Submitted On: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Analyst: Poe, Mya
The FY2018 budget for the state of Massachusetts (called House 1) was released on Jan. 27, 2017. While both K-12 and higher education funding was increased, funding levels remain below previously levels.
The budget includes a 1.2% increase ($10.3 M) in campus appropriations for the University of Massachusetts (1%), state universities (.9%), and community colleges (1.9%).
The budget includes a 2% increase ($91.4 M) in K-12 funding.
The Massachusetts Teachers' Association (MTA) has raised concerns about the budget because of "paltry funding increases across all levels of education, funding reductions for the special education circuit breaker, severe underfunding of charter school tuition reimbursement, potential elimination of key services to urban districts, restrictions on the accrual of sick time, and structural changes to employee health benefit plans." The MTA also noted that outside of funding for school aid (Chapter 70), the budget includes $23.5 million in cuts to program funding that supports local communities though school lunch programs and child sex abuse prevention. Other programs cut include the Bay State Reading Institute and MCAS Low-Scoring Support.
According to Education Secretary Jim Peyser, other education initiatives outlined in the budget include:
- Funding a new “Learn to Earn” initiative for grants to partnerships to help unemployed and underemployed individuals gain credentials for occupations and employment in high demand fields
- Increased funding by $1 million for Dual Enrollment and STEM Early College, to allow under-served high school students to receive college credit while in high school
- Increased funding for Connecting Activities by $500,000, which will double the number of STEM-related work-based learning experiences for high school participants
- $1.3 million in new funding for an Adult Basic Education Pay for Success program contract for vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages classes and skills training services
Massachusetts Teachers Association. "MTA analysis of Governor Baker's FY 18 budget" http://www.massteacher.org/issues_and_action/education_funding/analysis_of_house_1.aspx
Peyser, Jim. "FY2018 Budget Recommendations: Governor Baker (“House 1”)" http://www.mass.edu/bhe/fy18budget_gov.asp