Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2009

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2009

Education Initiatives

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Governor Patrick    FY09 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

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



In FY2009 Governor Patrick will continue to provide funding for innovative and essential education initiatives across the Commonwealth. In addition to the increased investment in Chapter 70 ($223M), Governor Patrick will provide over $51M in investments that will continue to support the educational prospects of our schools and students, and will address the improvement of programs that are geared toward improving the systemic structure of education in Massachusetts, from early education, through K-12 and higher education.

In FY2008 the Governor announced the Readiness Project as a key priority. This statewide initiative involves over 200 educators, business leaders, and community leaders who will lead the development of a 10-year strategic plan for the future of education in the Commonwealth. This will include consideration of some fundamental and systemic challenges that face public education in Massachusetts.  The goal of this project is to create a comprehensive, child-centered public education system that begins before kindergarten, continues through grade 12 and higher education, and extends to work force development and lifelong learning ensuring that each individual has the opportunity to achieve his of her full potential. To achieve this goal the Readiness Project recognizes that public schools, higher education institutions, private and community partners need to work together to provide pathways for the youth of the state to prepare for life and work and to enable the Commonwealth to be competitive in the 21st century. The Readiness Project Final Report, to be released in the spring of 2008, will provide recommendations that will guide the administration in making future investments in education.

In conjunction with the work being completed by the various subcommittees of the Readiness Project, the Governor's FY2009 budget recommends funding for the Executive Office for Education. The Governor proposes a cabinet level education office in order to be able to better facilitate the work between the three education agencies and to be prepared to implement recommendations stemming from the Readiness Project.

Governor's Continued Commitment to Education - $368M New Investment

The FY2009 budget dedicates substantial new funds for innovative and necessary programs; however, the Governor's budget also continues to invest billions of dollars for the operation of existing programs that are necessary to support the success of students. The three education departments administer programs that continue to face growing costs. To ensure that these programs are able to continue to operate, it is necessary to maintain funding at levels that can support staff and existing costs. The following chart displays the total investment in education, including these maintenance funds as well as expansion funding:

FY09 Public Education Funding
  FY2008 GAA FY2009 H.2 Variance % Change
Early Education and Care $ 529,452,420 $ 584,033,005 $ 54,580,585 10.31%
Elementary and Secondary Education $ 575,694,050 $ 632,656,659 $ 56,962,609 9.89%
Chapter 70 $ 3,725,671,328 $ 3,948,824,061 $ 223,152,733 5.99%
Higher Education $ 1,046,031,207 $ 1,080,020,075 $ 33,988,868 3.25%
TOTAL $ 5,876,849,005 $ 6,245,533,800 $ 368,684,795 6.27%

Governor's Targeted Investments - $51M New Investment

The Governor's FY2009 budget includes investment for the continued growth and implementation of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. The Governor also recommends funding extended learning programs by increasing the Kindergarten Expansion grants and Extended Learning Time grants in our public schools. The Governor's budget also targets increased funding for underperforming schools and support for closing the achievement gap. Other education initiatives the Governor recommends are increased funding for METCO, funding for the Foundation Reserve (which is included in the Governor's budget for the first time since FY2002), and the reactivation of the Dual Enrollment program.

Investments in Public Education
  FY2009 H.2 Variance % Change
Universal Pre-Kindergarten Grants $ 22,138,739 $ 15,000,000 210.1%
Kindergarten Expansion Grants $ 42,175,651 $ 8,000,000 23.7%
Extended Learning Time Grants $ 26,000,000 $ 13,000,000 100%
Targeted Intervention in Underperforming Schools $ 13,780,659 $ 4,500,000 49.4%
MCAS Low-Scoring Student Support $ 16,245,843 $ 2,000,000 15.1%
METCO $ 22,115,313 $ 1,500,000 7.3%
Foundation Reserve* $ 5,500,000 $ 5,500,000 100.0%
Dual Enrollment $ 2,000,000 $ 2,000,000 New
TOTAL $ 149,956,205 $ 51,500,000  

Investing in the education of our young people would not only enhance opportunity and our state's competitiveness but also reduce social, fiscal and economic costs associated with the lack of a comprehensive education. Indeed, on average, high school dropouts have lower earnings and pay less in taxes, while having higher incarceration rates and imposing higher fiscal costs on government, than their counterparts with high school or college degrees.

Moving Toward Universal Pre-Kindergarten

In the FY07 budget, the Massachusetts Legislature allocated $4.6M in pilot funding for the Massachusetts Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. The pilot funding was awarded to 187 classrooms benefiting approximately 3,000 children across the Commonwealth. The Governor's FY2009 budget recommends increasing the funding for this program by an additional $15M, which increases funding nearly 200% from FY08, to ensure heightened growth and implementation. This funding would assume an increase of approximately 892 classrooms, which includes center-based care, public schools, and family child centers. The increase would benefit roughly 14,320 children through the promotion of school readiness and other positive outcome initiatives.

Moving Toward Universal Full-Day Kindergarten

The Governor's budget provides $42.1M to transition an estimated 440 half-day kindergarten programs to full-day. This 24% increase in funding is a significant step towards Universal Full-Day Kindergarten. Currently there are 1,050 half-day kindergarten programs statewide.

More Time for Learning

Since FY2006, school districts have been exploring and implementing lengthened school days. Last year Governor Patrick doubled the investment in extended learning time bringing the total investment to $13M, impacting over 9,100 students. For the second consecutive year the Governor's budget doubles the investment, totaling $26M, and increases the maximum amount per student from $1,300 to $1,400. This additional $13M will allow an additional 8,900 students to lengthen the school day and will allow additional districts to receive planning grants as well as summer semester planning grants. Up to 10 summer semester planning grants could be awarded allowing districts to create a plan to implement summer programming for students.

This chart shows the increase in funding for Universal Pre-Kindergarten from FY07 GAA of $4,631,238, to FY08 GAA  of $7,138,739, to the FY09 H.2 of $22,138,739. This chart shows the increase in funding for Kindergarten Expansion Grants from FY07 GAA of $27,000,000, to FY08 GAA of $33,802,216, to the FY09 H.2 of $42,175,651.
This chart shows the increase in funding for Extended Learning Time Grants from FY07 GAA of $6,500,000, to FY08 GAA of $13,000,000, to the FY09 H.2 of $26,000,000.

Working with Underperforming Districts

The Governor's budget invests an additional $4.5M in chronically underperforming schools and districts. This 49% increase in funds will allow the Department to work with the "Commonwealth Priority Schools" to implement Comprehensive School Reform Models, retool curriculum, and focus on better instructional and assessment strategies. During the 2007 school year, 46 districts and 668 schools in the Commonwealth were identified as facing significant challenges in improving their students' academic performance. This funding increase reflects the administration's continued support for districts with exceptional need and recognizes that state assistance is essential to these districts. The Governor's Budget provides additional funding for the intervention strategies that could range in costs from $50K to $300K per school, assisting anywhere from 15 to 90 additional schools. Lastly, the Governor's budget includes an additional $2M to help close the achievement gap through MCAS Low-Scoring Student Support programs. These additional funds will allow the Department to expand student academic support by assisting high school students in reaching the new science standard and completing their Educational Proficiency Plans, and will add programs in elementary and middle schools, to assist in closing the achievement gap.

Other Expansion Initiatives

The Governor recommends increased funding for METCO of $1.5M. This program is important to eliminate racial imbalance in our schools and the increase in funds will help serve an additional 375 students. The program currently serves 3,300 students and affects over 100,000 suburban classmates. Lastly, the Governor's budget invests $2M for the Department of Higher Education to administer the Dual Enrollment program. This funding will reinstate an important education opportunity for over 2000 high school students by allowing them to take college credits while completing their high school diplomas.

Outside of the budget, the Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority (MEFA) will provide $1 million this year and $350,000 for each of the next three years to develop and launch a "one stop shopping" website to help Massachusetts students plan for, research, and be prepared for college and careers.

Governor's Support for Chapter 70 State Aid and other Ongoing Commitments: $307M

The Governor's FY2009 budget includes over $300M to maintain the same level of educational services and programs offered in FY2008.

This chart shows the other continued increases in public education.  Early Education and Care increased to $38,380,585; Elementary and Secondary Education to $26,862,607; Chapter 70 to $223,152,735; higher Education to $19,447,909.  For a total of $307,843,836.

To maintain essential services for students, the Governor's budget continues to fund the increasing costs of personnel, services, utilities and other resources. Substantial funds are needed to continue to support child care, elementary and secondary school students, children with special needs, Charter School students, and in addition, we must continue to support the individuals who administer programs and our teachers.

The Department of Early Education and Care will receive an additional $36.7M to continue to assist children and families with the greatest need through Supportive, TANF and Low-Income child care programs.

Chapter 70 state aid increases 6% over the FY08 GAA and is the second largest increase in the budget after Medicaid. Chapter 70 state aid will be at an unprecedented level totaling $3.948B in FY2009. With this increase in aid, all 328 districts will get more Chapter 70 funds than they received in FY2008 and it ensures that the growth in each district's foundation budget is supported by the state. This year, the Governor's budget does not reflect any changes to the Chapter 70 formula, which was reformed in FY2007 by the legislature.

The Governor's budget implements the 3rd year of this 5 year phase-in model, which was set up to resolve some of the inequities of the original Chapter 70 formula that was conceived during the education reform in 1993.

This chart shows the Chapter 70 State Aid historical numbers as follows (figures are in billions): FY00 GAA 2,761; FY01 GAA 2,948; FY02 GAA 3,213; FY03 GAA 3,259; FY04 GAA 3,108; FY05 GAA 3,183; FY06 GAA 3,289; FY07 GAA 3,506; FY08 GAA 3,726; FY09 H.2 3,949.

In addition, $234M in funding for the Circuit Breaker is included, which reimburses cities and towns for 75% of the costs, 4-times above their foundation budget for special education residential placements. This is an increase of $14M in FY09 and this level of funding will fund approximately 11,800 special needs students. The budget also provides an increase in funding of 10.82% for Charter School reimbursements in FY2009 at $81.7 million. The $81.7M in funding allows for a growth in enrollment in charter schools of 2,000 students, which affects the reimbursement to districts that lose these students. Lastly, the budget provides an additional $13M to public higher education institutions through the Board of Higher Education's campus funding formula for both UMass and state and community colleges.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance • Rooms 373 & 272 • State House
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