The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Senate Ways and Means FY19 Budget Recommendations

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
May 11, 2018

On May 10th, the Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released its recommendations for the upcoming FY19 state budget year. Senate Ways & Means recommends total state spending of $41.42 billion, representing a 3 percent increase over projected FY18 spending.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (Department) recommended appropriations total $5.568 billion, which represents an increase of $217.5 million (4.07 percent) over FY18 spending, an increase of $107 million (1.95 percent) above the Governor's FY19 request (House 2), and $40.4M (.73 percent) above the House's recommendation. Senate Ways & Means proposes a total increase of $218.4 million for Chapter 70, Circuit Breaker, Charter School Tuition District Reimbursement, and Regional Transportation Reimbursement.

The following summarizes the SWM 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 $160.2M (3.38 percent) over FY18, including $12.5 million to provide transitional relief to districts related to the change in the reporting metric from low-income to economically disadvantaged. The increase in Chapter 70 maintains the long-standing commitment to foundation level spending in all districts; fully phases-in (100 percent) effort reduction for high-effort communities; and provides a minimum aid increase of $30 per pupil to all districts (the same as the House and up from $20 in the House 2 budget). Senate Ways & Means proposes making a structural change in the foundation budget by shifting the Limited English Proficient (LEP) rate to an LEP increment for each grade category. Senate Ways & Means also addresses the rising cost of employee and retiree health insurance by including in foundation budgets 14.2 percent of the increase that the Foundation Budget Review Commission recommended in 2015; the House also recommended 14.2 percent and House 2 proposed 11 percent. Based on the SWM budget, districts are eligible to receive the higher of the amount determined by SWM or the amount passed by the House; 43 districts receive the aid amount determined by the House. SWM also includes another $15 million in the Foundation Reserve "pothole" account (7061-0011) for districts serving Puerto Rican and USVI students displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Senate Ways and Means funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker account (7061-0012) is increased by $37.7 million over FY18. Charter School Tuition District Reimbursements (7061-9010) is increased by $19.5 million over FY18. Regional School Transportation (7035-0006) is increased by $1 million over FY18. The METCO grant program (7010-0012) is increased by $500,000 over FY18. Non-Resident Vocational Student Transportation (7035-0007) and Homeless Student Transportation Reimbursement (7035-0008) are level funded with FY18 spending.

II. Literacy Accounts and English Language Acquisition

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

IV. Program Changes


The Senate Ways and Means recommendations will be debated in the full Senate starting on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. After that, the budget will go to the Conference Committee. We will have a further update on the FY19 budget at the May 22, 2018 Board meeting.

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



Download Excel Document
Senate Ways and Means Budget Summary