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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

FY17 DESE Budget Priorities

James A. Peyser, Secretary of Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
December 3, 2015


On November 17, 2015, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted its budget priorities for consideration in the development of the FY17 state budget. This memo conveys the Board's priorities and we ask for your support in advancing these resource priorities as we jointly work to develop the Governor's House 2 recommendations.

Understanding the current constrained state fiscal environment, DESE and the Board have targeted key priority areas of funding need. Approximately 14% of the total annual state operating budget is allocated for elementary and secondary education. Almost all of that is local aid that flows to cities, towns, and regional school districts. In fact, within DESE's annual state fund allocation, 98.8 percent of our funding is either district entitlement or reimbursement or a grant program. As in the past, the Board continues to advocate for levels of education local aid needed to promote and sustain high quality public schools.

The Board has identified the following priority areas for the FY17 state budget. Additional funding for these priority areas identified by the Board is designed to provide DESE with modest growth to continue our leadership in supporting district efforts to provide an excellent educational program for all students in the Commonwealth, prepare all students for success after high school, and close proficiency gaps. We will discuss the specific amount of the funding increases with you and your staff and with the Executive Office for Administration & Finance as Governor Baker prepares his House 2 budget proposal.

FY17 Recommended Education Budget Priorities

  • Curriculum and Instruction/Early Literacy
  • Educational Time: After-school and Summer Programs
  • Student Well-being: Nutrition Programs, Safety, and Social/Emotional Well-being
  • Civics Education
  • School-to-Career Connecting Activities
  • Educator Development
  • Student Assessment
  • Targeted Assistance for Schools and Districts/Turnaround Work

The Board and the Department appreciate your ongoing support for our work to close proficiency gaps and strengthen K-12 education throughout the Commonwealth. I look forward to our continued work in the development of House 2.

Last Updated: December 10, 2015
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