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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Senate Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Recommendations

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
May 26, 2012

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The Senate completed debate on its Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Budget Recommendations yesterday. The Senate supported an additional $4.4 million in total spending above the Senate Ways & Means Committee's report for the Department. The increase was reflected in five accounts: ELL Professional Development ($750,000), METCO ($1 million), Regional Transportation ($2 million), School to Work Connecting Activities ($450,000) and Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment ($200,000). The Senate has continued to prioritize spending recommendations that are supportive of our mission here at the Department, although in some accounts (Targeted Assistance, District and School Accountability, and MCAS Student Support), not at the level advanced by the Board. The full Senate's recognition of the Department's need for ELL Professional Development funding is a positive statement, as well as the support for the program administrative needs within the Department.

The Senate FY13 total budget recommendation for the Department of $4.708 billion represents an increase of $218.7 million above the FY12 estimated departmental spending of $4.490 billion, $61.5 million above the Governor's (House 2) FY13 budget of $4.647 billion, and an increase of $25.9 million above the final House FY 13 budget of $4.683 billion.

The budget process now moves to conference committee for development of a budget that will be voted on by both chambers.

The Senate provided many increases consistent with several budget priorities identified by the Board.

Continued Financial Support for Local Districts

  • The Senate has recommended $4.171 billion for Chapter 70 state aid (7061-0008), representing an increase of $180.3 million over FY12.

  • The Senate funded a Ch.70 reserve account, at a $3.5 million level.

  • FY13 funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012) is increased to $242.2 million, $29.1 million over FY12.

  • FY13 funding for Regional School Transportation Costs (7035-0006) is level funded at $45.5 million, $2 million over FY12.

  • Transportation of Non-Resident Students (7035-0007) is level funded at $400,000 million, maintaining the FY12 spending level.

  • Federal Impact Aid Shortfall Reserve (7061-0033) is level funded at $1.3 million, maintaining the FY12 spending level.

  • Regional Bonus Aid (7061-9810) is funded at $251,950, which is consistent with the House FY13 funding recommendation.

  • METCO (7010-0012) was increased by $250,000 above the FY12 spending level and the Governor's recommendation.

Increased Assistance for District and School Turnaround

  • The Senate recommended that the Targeted Assistance to Schools and Districts (7061-9408) funding be increased by only $108,291 from the FY12 amount of $6.7 million; this amount is $2.5 million below the Governor's FY13 House 2 recommendation of $9.3 million and $801,373 below the funding level recommended by the House.

  • The Office of School and District Accountability (7061-0029) was level funded at $959,028 and did not receive the increase of $750,000 proposed by the Governor. The Senate level is consistent with the funding level recommended by the House.

Professional Development for English Language Learners Instruction

  • The Senate provided $850,000 in new funding for the Department's ELL professional development need. This value is consistent with the Department projected need in FY13 to meet this training requirement.

Literacy

  • The Senate did not support the consolidation of the Bay State Reading Institute (7010-0020) into the Consolidated Literacy Program (7010-0033). The accounts are level funded at their FY12 total of $3.5 million and $400,000 respectively.

Administrative Resources

  • The Senate budget supports the elimination of the funding restrictions for personnel within a number of program accounts identified by the Board, and funds the Department's main administrative account at the level requested by the Board and Governor.

  • The Senate provided $250,000 in dedicated funding for Education Collaborative oversight.

  • The Senate did not include dedicated funding for Charter School Program Administration.

In addition to the Board areas of priority, the Senate included increases in a number of additional Department accounts.

  • The Senate recommended an increase of $2.45 million in School-to-Work Connecting Activities (7027-0019) funding over the FY12 budget of $750 thousand; this funding level is $430,000 more than the level recommended by the Governor and House.

  • The Senate supported the Governor's recommendation for a new Statewide AP Program, line item (7035-0035), however it recommends this line be funded at $2 million, rather than $2.4 million requested by the Governor.

  • The Senate supported an increase of $200,000 over current spending for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment account (7061-9600).

  • The Senate recommended a small increase of $124,734 over current spending for the Expanded Learning Time account. This is $875,266 less than the level recommended by the Governor for FY13

  • The Senate supported an increase of $200,000 for YouthBuild (7061-9626) from its FY12 funding level of $1.3 million. The Governor and House had recommended an increase of $700,000.

Funding for several appropriations were either reduced or eliminated as follows:

  • The Senate recommended a reduction $458,769 in the MCAS Student Assessment account (7061-9400) from its FY12 projected spending level.

  • The Senate recommended a reduction of $2 million in the Kindergarten Grants (7030-1002) over the FY12 amount of $22.9 million. The Senate level is $5 million less than the Governor's recommendation and $4 million less than the House recommendation.

  • The Senate recommended funding the Supports to Close the Achievement Gap (7061-9404) at $9.1 million, $480,371 less than its FY12 funding level and the level supported by the Governor and House for FY13.

  • The Financial Literacy Grant Program (7061-0928), recommended by the House ($250,000), was not funded in the final Senate bill.

  • The Senate did not fund the Homeless Student Transportation Account (7035-0005), which the House funded at $11.3M. The Senate included language requiring the Department to establish a more specific cost estimate through its regulatory process.

The balance of the Department's accounts is either level funded at current appropriation levels or have small increases included to cover anticipated FY13 costs.

The attached chart compares the Senate FY13 budget recommendations to the Governor's House 2 recommendations, the House recommendations, as well as the projected FY12 spending and identifies any variances.

Please let Bill Bell (781.338.6528) or me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Attachment

Download MS EXCEL Document
Analysis of the FY13 Senate Budget, June 2012


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Last Updated: June 22, 2012
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