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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Fiscal Year 2015 House Budget Recommendations

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
May 2, 2014

The House of Representatives (House) approved its Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) Budget recommendations late Wednesday. The House's FY15 total budget recommendation for the Department of $4.985 billion represents an increase of $109.2 million above the $4.875 billion FY14 budget. An additional $7.47 million in spending was added across fifteen line items during the floor debate. The House budget acknowledges a number of the Board's priorities, while leaving some in need of support in the Senate. Among the highlights of the budget proposal are:

Continued Financial Support for Local Districts

  • House has approved $4.4 billion for Chapter 70 state aid (7061-0008), representing an increase of $99.5 million over FY14. The House budget keeps districts at foundation and guarantees a $25 per pupil increase for every district. The House budget expands Chapter 70 funding of pre-K programs.

  • Foundation Reserve (7061-0011) is now funded at $1,786 million, which is $213,681 less than FY14 appropriation.

  • House has approved $257.5 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012), which is an increase of $5 million over the FY14 budget of $252.5 million.

  • FY15 funding for Regional School Transportation Costs (7035-0006) is receiving a $2 million increase over the FY14 budget of $51.5 million.

  • FY15 funding for Transportation Reimbursement for Homeless Children (7035-0008) is level funded at $7.35 million.

  • FY15 funding for Non-Resident Vocational Student Transportation (7035-0007) has been reduced by $1.5 million from the FY14 appropriation of $3 million.

  • The Charter School Tuition Reimbursement account (7061-9010) is funded at $80 million, an increase of $5 million over the FY14 budget of $75 million.

Assistance for District and School Turnaround

  • House has increased the Targeted Assistance to Schools and Districts (7061-9408) by $116,000 over the FY14 appropriation of $7.89 million. The earmark of $250,000 for Parent Engagement Program has been removed.

  • The Office of School and District Accountability (7061-0029) is level funded at $979,650.

Professional Development for English Language Learners Instruction

  • The House budget does not fully fund the Department's Year 3 need for the RETELL initiative (7072-1004). The $540,000 supplemental funding received in FY14 is not reflected in the FY15 budget. This funding level of $2.8 million is approximately $500,000 below the anticipated need to fully implement the 2014-15 training and professional development work with educators of ELL students.

Expanded Learning Time Grants

  • House approves an increase of $1 million in the Expanded Learning Time Grants (7061-9412) over the FY14 amount of $14.2 million.

HR and IT Consolidation under EOE

  • The House budget has accepted the Governor's House 2 proposal and consolidated human resource operations within EOE's Admin account (7009-6379). As a result, $1.2 million of HR staff salaries have been removed from the 7010-0005 main Admin account. In addition, House amendments added $270,414 back to the 7010-0005 account, of which, $170,414 is reserved for earmarks.

  • In addition, $795,548 of Education Data Services (7061-9200) has been transferred to EOE's IT account (7009-1700).

PARCC funding

  • The House budget includes an increase of $5 million to support PARCC testing in FY15 in the Student Assessment account (7061-9400).

Other Increases

  • The METCO account (7010-0012) received an increase of $500,000 over the FY14 appropriation of $18.6 million.

  • House has increased Adult Basic Education (7035-0002) by $100,000 over the FY14 funding of $30.17 million but with $250,000 in earmarks.

  • House budget for After-School Grant Program (7061-9611) has increased by $100,000 over the FY14 appropriation of $1.61 million.

  • The Alternative Education (7061-9614) received a $100,000 increased in the House budget over the FY14 budget of $146,140.

  • House has increased the Youthbuild Programs (7061-9626) by $250,000 over the FY14 level of $2 million.

  • The House budget also gave the Mentoring Matching Grants (7061-9634) an increase of $50,000 over the FY14 budget of $350,000.

  • Regional Bonus Aid (7061-9810) received a $28,050 increase over the FY14 appropriation of $251,950.

In addition to the Board areas of priority, the House budget includes decreases/elimination in a number of Department accounts.

  • House has approved the consolidation of the Consolidated Literacy Program (7010-0033) and the Early Intervention Tutorial Literacy (7030-1005) accounts and reduced overall funding by $550,000 ($20,000 of the funding is reserved for an earmark). Bay State Reading Institute (7010-0020) is level funded.

  • In addition, House has reduced funding for the Federal Impact Aid (7061-0033) account by $900,000 over the FY14 budget of $1.3 million.

  • The Innovation Schools (7061-9011) and Creative Challenge Index (7061-9811) accounts have been eliminated from the FY15 House budget.

  • The House budget has decreased funding to Supports to Close the Achievement Gap (7061-9404) by $3.1 million over the FY14 appropriation of $9.1 million.

The balance of the Department's accounts is either level funded at current appropriation levels, have small increases included to cover traditional program maintenance costs, or have small decreases.

The attached chart compares the FY15 House budget recommendations to projected FY14 spending and identifies any variances.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


Download PDF Document  Download Excel Document
Analysis of the FY15 House Budget

Last Updated: May 15, 2014
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