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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Governor's FY16 House 1 Budget

Members of the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
March 4, 2015

Today Governor Baker filed House 1, containing the Administration's FY16 state spending recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor recommends total state spending of $38.1 billion, representing a$1.3 billion (3%), increase over FY15 spending. The budget reflects the need to re-examine state spending to better align it with projected revenue growth. The Governor has prioritized spending increases for key areas, including local aid, education, transportation, and other human service related programs.

The Department's recommended appropriations total $5.1 billion, which represents an increase of $91.8 million (1.8%), over FY15 spending. The Governor's request affirms a commitment to fund education aid for our districts, while focusing on core service delivery at ESE, and providing new opportunities for assisting low performing schools and districts in a constricted fiscal environment. The proposal also addresses some of the priority investment areas identified by the Board last November.

The following summarizes the Governor's education recommendations by program area.

I. Education Local Aid & Reimbursements

Chapter 70 aid (7061-0008), is increased by $105.3M (2.4%) over FY15. The increase is designed to provide a minimum aid increase for each district of $20 per student, and continuing progress to achieving equity in high-effort communities. Transportation reimbursement for Homeless Students (7035-0008), is also increased by $1M over FY15. The METCO grant program (7010-0012), is funded $1.2 million above FY15 spending. All other district reimbursement accounts are level funded at FY15 spending levels, included Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012), District Reimbursements for Charter School Tuitions (7061-9010), and Regional School Transportation (7035-0006). Funding for Non-Resident Vocational Student Transportation (7035-0007), was eliminated during this fiscal year's 9c reductions. Funding for the Kindergarten Grant Program (7030-1002) is eliminated in the proposal, recognizing that more than 85 percent of districts offer full day Kindergarten and that enrollment is reimbursed through Chapter 70.

II. Partnership Schools Network (Systemic Assistance to Low Performing Schools & Districts)

The Governor is recommending a new approach to DESE's investment and work with districts and schools that are at risk of being or who have been determined to be underperforming. The creation of the Partnership Schools Network account (7061-9408), consolidates a number of existing DESE grant accounts in an effort to achieve a broader approach to improving educational outcomes for students. The account is funded at $17.5 million, and is designed to provide the Department with the authority to exercise discretion and innovative approaches to combat systemic underperformance.

The account consolidation includes the following DESE accounts:

7010-0020Bay State Reading
7010-0033Consolidated Literacy Programs
7030-1005Early Intervention Tutorial Literacy
7061-0029School & District Accountability Reviews & Monitoring
7061-9011Innovation Schools
7061-9404MCAS Low-Scoring Student Support
7061-9406College and Career Readiness Program
7061-9408Targeted Assistance
7061-9416Alternative Education

Additionally two grant accounts currently funded at the Executive Office of Education are also consolidated into the Partnership Schools Network account.

7009-6400Gateway Cities - ELL Programs
7009-6402Career Academies

III. Investment in Board Priority Areas

House 1 continues to support the Department's work in a number of priority areas.

Student Assessment

House 1 continues to support funding needed to implement the Board's timeline for PARCC implementation. The appropriation level of $28.9 million in 7061-9400 provides the funding necessary to manage the potential transition of PARCC.

English Language Acquisition

House 1 funding of $2.8 million for 7027-1004 provides the funding necessary to deliver the fourth year of the RETELL initiative in FY16. DESE will have trained approximately 34,000 educators to support the instructional needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) by the end of FY16.

Educator Development & Effectiveness

House 1 funds a new appropriation, 7061-2200, at $500,000 to support the Department's leadership in the work of promoting educator development & effectiveness. This work to date has been entirely supported with federal grant funding.

Student Safety & Support

House 1 funds a new appropriation, 7061-2300, at $200,000 to support the Department's leadership in the work of promoting increased student social, emotional, psychological, and physical safety and support. The bill also increases the spending ceiling by $200,000 in the Educator Licensure account (7061-9601), to fund the increases demands being placed on DESE's Office of Professional Licensure & Investigation.

IV. Aligned Programs / Coordinated Grants

A number of DESE programs continue to be funded as individual appropriations, but include the authorization to allow DESE to use a portion of these resources to align with the work of the Partnership Schools Network initiative.

These accounts include:

7027-0091School-to-Work Connecting Activities
7035-0035AP Math & Science Programs
7061-9412Expanded Learning Time Grants
7061-9611After-School Grant Programs

All of these accounts are level funded at FY15 spending levels.

V. ESE Administrative Resources

Recognizing the difficult fiscal challenge the Commonwealth, DESE will need to smartly manage its funding to ensure its core work is delivered and workforce remains focused on the collective mission.

VI. Program Changes

House 1 moves the School Of Excellence program (7066-0024) from the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to ESE. This account funds the Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), which enrolls academically accelerated 11th and 12th graders. The program rigor for juniors exceeds high school honors and AP, emphasizing depth over breadth, engaging students in project based learning, and delivering more than 1200 hours of instruction. Seniors complete a full year of college, enrolling in classes at WPI, a nationally ranked engineering school, thus making the Academy the only public school in Massachusetts whose students attend a private university full-time as seniors in high school.

House 1 eliminates spending for four accounts previously funded in FY15.

7061-0928Financial Literacy Grants
7061-9804Mathematics Professional Development
7061-9810Regional Bonus Aid
7061-9811Creative Challenge Index

Funding for our adult education, special education instruction (SEIS), YouthBuild and mentoring grant programs are level funded in the Governor's proposal.

The attached chart summarizes the Governor's FY16 budget recommendations in comparison to our current and prior years' appropriation history and identifies variances.

The Governor's House 1 budget recommendations begin the FY16 budget development process that will culminate in late June when the Legislature approves the FY16 budget and forwards it to the Governor for his final review and approval.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. We will discuss the budget at our March 24th Board meeting.


Download PDF Document  Download Excel Document
Analysis of the FY16 Governor's House 1 Budget

Last Updated: March 17, 2015
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