We Must Provide Robust Economic Relief and Recovery for Vulnerable Populations and Children in Massachusetts Policy is the lever that we can pull to bring …
Opportunity Delayed: FY 2021 Governor’s Budget for K-12 Funding Falls Short by $74M for Low-Income Kids
As part of implementing the Commonwealth’s new school funding law, the Student Opportunity Act (SOA), the Governor proposed increasing Chapter 70 aid by $303.5 million over current levels in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget. In this first year, the Governor delivers on one-seventh (14 percent) of the SOA reforms in most areas—special education, health care for educators, social-emotional support, and increments for English Language Learners—keeping those reforms on track for full implementation in seven years. However, not all of the SOA reforms are consistently or equitably phased in by the Governor’s proposal despite this goal being outlined in the law. One critical area that is not on track—increased support for students from low-income families through Low-Income Rates.
Without sufficient funding, communities across the Commonwealth face challenges in helping all students, particularly those most in need of additional support, gain access to affordable, quality after-school opportunities. This report aims to provide tailored guidance to one community, Salem, Massachusetts, on how to provide services to more youth. This includes evaluating its current after-school landscape, compiling data from local providers, applying lessons learned from after-school efforts across the country, and providing recommendations on how Salem can expand access to quality after-school.
FY 2021 BUDGET PREVIEW: Delivering on the K-12 Education Funding Overhaul & the Student Opportunity Act (SOA)
Now that the state has revamped its education funding formula, how will lawmakers fund these changes in this first year of implementation?
Accurately counting low-income and English Language Learner students, who are more likely to require a diverse array of academic and social resources to succeed in school, is important to ensure that school districts receive the funding necessary to support all of their students. Communities with large numbers of immigrants are often disproportionately affected by the challenges of obtaining an accurate count of low-income students.
Massachusetts benefits when all our children receive quality educational experiences in school that allow them to lead successful, fulfilling, and productive lives. Creating an education system where all students can reach success plays a significant role in creating a vibrant democracy and strong economy. Despite the significant progress in the Commonwealth driven by the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993, the success of Massachusetts schools has not reached all our children.