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 theUniversity 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 $23.5million in cuts to programfunding thatsupports localcommunities though schoollunch programs andchild sex abuse prevention.Other programs cut include theBay State Reading Institute andMCAS Low-Scoring Support.
According to EducationSecretaryJim Peyser, other educationinitiatives 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