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House Ways & Means FY19 Budget Recommendations

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
April 13, 2018

Yesterday, the House Ways & Means Committee (HWM) released its recommendations for the upcoming FY19 state budget year. HWM recommends total state spending of $40.99 billion, representing a $1.246 billion (3.1 percent) increase over FY18 spending.

The Department's recommended appropriations total $5.518 billion, which represents an increase of $167.6 million (3.13 percent), over FY18 spending, and an increase of $57 million (1 percent) above the Governor's FY19 request (House 2). HWM proposes increases of $167.3 million in Chapter 70 and other school district reimbursement accounts.

The following summarizes the HWM education recommendations. Our budget tracking spreadsheet is attached, showing detail for all Department appropriations.

I. Education Aid & Reimbursements

Chapter 70 aid (7061-0008) is increased by $124.57M (2.6 percent) over FY18. The increase maintains the long-standing commitment to foundation level spending in all districts; and continuing progress to achieving equity in high-effort communities (92 percent effort reduction); and provides a minimum aid increase of $30 per pupil to all districts (up from $20 in House 2 budget). The HWM proposal also addresses the rising cost of employee and retiree health insurance by including in foundation budgets 14.2 percent of the increase recommended in 2015 by the Foundation Budget Review Commission; House 2 had proposed 11 percent. HWM also includes $12.5 million in the Foundation Reserve ("pothole") account (7061-0011) to provide transitional relief related to the change from low-income to economically disadvantaged and another $15 million for districts serving Puerto Rican and USVI students displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

HWM funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker account (7061-0012) is increased by $18.77 million over FY18. Both Regional School Transportation (7035-0006) and Homeless Transportation (7035-0008) are increased by $1 million each over FY18. The Metco grant program (7010-0012) sees a $1.5 million increase. Non-Resident Vocational Student Transportation (7035-0007) is not funded in the HWM budget — a reduction of $242,500. District Reimbursements for Charter School Tuition (7061-9010) is increased by $9.5 million over FY18. We estimate this will cover 100 percent reimbursement for the capital facility component of charter tuition ($893 per student) and approximately 58.46 percent of first-year tuition increases.

II. Literacy Accounts and English Language Acquisition

  • HWM does not support the Governor's proposal to create a consolidated Literacy and English Language Acquisition account. HWM reduces the Reading Recovery earmark from $300,000 to $100,000 in Literacy Programs (7010-0033).

  • The English Language Acquisition Account (7027-1004) sees an increase of $1.64 million which will fund SEI training for vocational-technical educators and implement the provisions of the Language Opportunity for Our Kids Act as well as $250,000 earmarked for grants to high quality English language learning programs in districts serving Gateway Cities (previously funded under the Executive Office of Education).

III. Expansion of Career Technical Education (7027-0019)

  • HWM proposes an increase of $364,499 to School to Career Connecting Activities over FY18. By maintaining the FY18 allocation and removing FY18 earmarks, the total increase provided for this program is $1M, to be used for the expansion of paid internships to 10,000 high school students, prioritizing participation in STEM.

IV. Program Changes

  • HWM budget increases the Adult Basic Education appropriation (7035-0002) by $2.95 million to reduce the waitlist of students for English language learning slots.

  • 7035-0035 AP Math and Science sees an increase of $300,000 over FY18.

  • HWM does not support the Governor's request to fund Student Assessment and Curriculum (7061-9400) at $32.1 million but has reduced it to $27.1 million ($4 million less than the FY18 spending levels.).

  • 7061-9408 Targeted Assistance receives a $207,833 increase over FY18.

  • HWM is funding Teacher Licensure (7061-9601) at $1,867,453, an increase of $121,104 to cover costs related to the additional license renewal volume in FY19.

  • HWM agrees with the FY19 House 2 proposal and transfers the administration of the Recovery High School Program (7061-9607) from the Department of Public Health to DESE. In additional, there is an increase of $100,000 to the Department's main administrative account to administer this program.

  • HWM has removed the legislative earmarks and level funded the After School Grant Program (7061-9611) at $2.38 million.

  • 7061-9612 Safe and Supportive Schools Grant is increased by $100,000 over FY18 at $600,000.

  • HWM has added &275,000 of funding to the Mentoring Matching Grants (7061-9634).

  • HWM proposes the elimination of four other accounts: 7061-0033 Public School Military Mitigation, 7061-9011 Innovation Schools, 7061-9401 Assessment Consortium and 7061-9810 Regional Bonus Aid.

  • DESE's other accounts are either level funded or received minor increases/decreases for the purposes of department cost maintenance due to payroll changes reported to HWM and the removal of pervious legislative earmarks.


The HWM recommendations will be debated in the full House starting the week of April 23, 2018. As always, we expect a significant number of floor amendments to be introduced dealing with K-12 funding. Senate Ways and Means is expected to release its version of the FY19 budget on May 16, 2018.

We will discuss the House budget proposal at our April 24th Board meeting.

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


Download Excel Document
FY19 HWMs Budget Recommendations

Last Updated: April 17, 2018
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