The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

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

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

IV. Program Changes


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