On Wednesday, April 11, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee released its recommendations for $32.3 billion in state appropriations for the fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget. The proposal, which addresses a projected $1.3 billion budget gap, does not call for any new taxes or fees, and makes use of one-time revenue sources such as the state Stabilization Fund.
The House Ways and Means Committee’s recommended budget:
- Level funds the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program at $7.5 million
- Level funds the Head Start at $7.5 million
- Level funds early childhood mental health consultation services in early education and care programs at $750,000
- Reduces funding for overall child care subsidies by $8.1 million from FY12 levels
- Provides overall funding for the Department of Early Education and Care of $487 million, compared with $495 million in FY12
- Increases funding for the full-day kindergarten grant program administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to $24.95 million, a $2 million increase over FY12 appropriations
- Allocates $86.5 million for the Massachusetts State Scholarship Program, which includes the Early Childhood Educator Scholarship. The State Scholarship Program, which is administered by the Department of Higher Education, was funded at $87.6 million in FY12.
The HWM budget recommendation does not fund the early literacy initiative for family child care providers that Governor Patrick included in his proposed Gateway Cities Education Agenda. It also does not fund a rate increase for early education and care providers serving subsidized children.
Click here for more information about the HWM Committee’s recommendations for programs administered by the Department of Early Education and Care and for other line items related to high-quality early education.
State representatives have until Friday, April 13, at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the House Ways and Means budget. The House will begin debate on the budget the week of April 23.