Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2013

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2013

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Closing the Achievement Gap

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Governor Patrick    FY 2013 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


A well-educated citizenry is the key to Massachusetts’ continued social, economic and civic growth and its prosperity.  The Patrick-Murray Administration has consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a world-class public education system.  Massachusetts is lauded as a national leader with regard to overall student achievement and the implementation of innovative education policies such as the groundbreaking legislation, An Act Relative to the Achievement Gap, which the Governor signed into law in January 2010.

Closing the persistent achievement gap is the central principle to all of the Commonwealth’s education initiatives. In Quality Counts 2012, a comprehensive ranking of state education performance and policy by Education Week, Massachusetts ranked third overall and first in the K-12 Achievement and Chance for Success categories. While the Administration is proud of its accomplishments, doing well is simply not good enough.  Government has an educational, economic, and moral obligation to ensure that all students, regardless of their background or zip code, have the opportunity to reach their potential and achieve academic, career and personal success.

The Achievement Gap Act, the Commonwealth’s Race to the Top awards, and the Massachusetts Vision Project (among other education initiatives) all focus on increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap.  The Gateway Cities Education Agenda and other proposals in the Governor’s FY 2013 budget represent the next chapter in education improvement and reform in Massachusetts.

Closing the Achievement Gap

The Commonwealth cannot close the achievement gap without addressing the impact of poverty and other factors on student engagement, achievement and success.  Investments in the Governor’s FY 2013 budget proposal will target schools in the Gateway Cities, maintain or increase funding for schools in every community and support early education and higher education initiatives. 

Gateway Cities Education Agenda

At the Education Summit on November 9, 2011, Governor Patrick described his vision for education in Massachusetts.  The Gateway Cities Education Agenda is based on five core principles: 1) renewing our commitment to high standards and rigorous accountability; 2) providing comprehensive support so that all students come to school healthy and ready to learn; 3) offering differentiated services and support to all students; 4) promoting new expectations for college and career readiness; and 5) promoting innovative educational practices and building stronger partnerships across the state.

The Executive Office of Education will dedicate nearly $10 M to support the implementation of important new initiatives in the Gateway Cities, including:

  • Early Literacy and Kindergarten Readiness Programs – $575 K
    • Funding will establish pilot programs for Kindergarten Literacy Readiness
  • Establishment of Student Support Counselors and Student Support Councils – $3.6 M
    • Funding will create Student Support Councils and deploy Student Support Counselors to predominantly low-income schools
  • Operation of Enrichment & Acceleration Academies for English Language Learners – $3.8 M
    • Funding will establish Summer English Learning Camps specifically designed to give English Language Learners more time, in an active, engaged “camp” atmosphere, to become fluent in English. 
  • Creation of Education & Industry Councils and Planning for High School Career Academies – $1 M
    • Funding to establish pilot career academies to offer high school students the opportunity for early career exploration, more applied and experiential learning, and similar educational experiences that motivate students who do not see themselves as college bound.
  • Creation of a Statewide Innovation Fund – $1 M
    • To support establishment of a fund that will combine annual appropriations from the Commonwealth and supplemental funds from businesses, nonprofits and philanthropists to expend monies on funding priorities to foster innovation in policy, practice, research, professional development and other capacity-building measures.

The Gateway Cities Education Agenda will build upon the positive social, cultural, economic and civic contributions of the 24 Gateway Cities, while providing targeted support to close the achievement gap.  These investments will build upon the progress made in FY 2011 and FY 2012 to help close the achievement gap in addition to programs supported by federal grants awards such as the $50 M Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant and the $250 M K-12 Race to the Top grant.

Continued Commitment to Public Education

The Patrick-Murray Administration maintains its commitment to strong investment in public education.  Highlights from the FY 2013 budget include:

  • Funding Chapter 70 state education aid at $4.136 B, the highest level of state funding in history to ensure that all districts are fully funded at foundation levels and that all districts will receive equal or greater funding than FY 2012;
  • Funding of $3.9 M to support STEM initiatives, including $2.4 M to support AP Math and Science achievement;
  • Increased funding of $10 M to help community colleges better prepare students of all ages for the local job market by providing relevant, affordable educational and career-focused training programs;
  • Funding the Special Education Circuit Breaker at $213 M, maintaining the $80 M increase from FY 2011 to FY 2012; and
  • A $12.3 M increase in funding for current programs focused on reducing the achievement gap, including Targeted Intervention in Underperforming Schools, After-School Programs, Kindergarten Expansion Grants, and Adult Basic Education.

The budget proposal also includes essential funding to support ongoing initiatives across early education, K-12 and higher education, including:

Department of Early Education and Care

  • Preservation of funding for childcare services utilized by low-income families;
  • Continued investment in the Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start grant programs;
  • Continued support to high-quality after-school and day care programs for children from eligible low-income families by the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Transitional Assistance,

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Fund $26 M for Kindergarten Expansion grants;
  • Preserve funding of $30 M for Adult Basic Education programs;
  • Increase of $2.5 M for Targeted Intervention in Underperforming Schools;
  • Increase of $700,000 for School to Career Connecting Activities;
  • Fund $15 M for Extended Learning Time Grants;
  • Establishment of $2.4 M for STEM focused AP programs; and,
  • Increase of $700,000 for Youth Build programs.

Department of Higher Education

  • $828 M for community colleges, state universities, and the University of Massachusetts;
  • Maintain funding of $87 M for college scholarships for Massachusetts residents;
  • Increase of funding by $1.06 M for waivers and financial aid for students originating in foster care;
  • Maintain funding for the Performance Incentive Fund to provide grant funding through a competitive application process to encourage innovation and financial/operational efficiency at our public higher education institutions. This fund will provide incentives to campuses to encourage these independent agencies to advance the Administration’s policy values and to adopt fiscal improvement and accountability measures that will lower costs, encourage collaboration and increase efficiency; and
  • This budget will provide an additional $10 M for the Massachusetts community college system and seeks to address the challenges facing system while supporting them as they continue to fulfill their dual purpose of career readiness/workforce training as well as a pathway of instruction to a 4 year institution.  Please refer to the brief titled “Investing in Community Colleges.”

Governor Patrick’s FY 2013 budget proposal will give the Commonwealth the resources to support ongoing, successful initiatives as well as implement new and exciting strategies to boost overall student achievement and close the achievement gap.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information email: (617) 727-2040

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