On Monday the Massachusetts House of Representatives begins debate on the House Ways and Means Committee fiscal year 2013 budget, released last week, along with 870 amendments. Among the amendments are several relating to early education that we urge the House to support:
- Implement all provisions in An Act Relative to Third Grade Reading Proficiency as an outside section of the state budget. (Representative Paul Brodeur)
- Amend language in the Universal Pre-Kindergarten grant line item to incorporate the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) (Representative David Sullivan and Representative Denise Garlick)
- Two separate amendments that add language to the Massachusetts State Scholarship line item specifying support for the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship (Representative Alice Peisch and Representative Alice Wolf)
- Provide $250,000 to further support the implementation of QRIS by the Department of Early Education and Care (Representative Alice Wolf)
- Increase funding for early childhood mental health consultation services line item from $750,000 to $1 million. (Representative James O’Day)
- Increase funding for Head Start from $7.5 million to $9 million (Representative David Sullivan)
- Include the Parent-Child Home Program by name in EEC’s services for infants and parents line item (Representative Kay Khan)
- Include a $25 million rate reserve for salaries and rates in subsidized early education and care programs (Representative Linda Dorcena Forry)
- Fund the Gateway Cities education initiatives, plus an education innovation fund, included in Governor Patrick’s budget proposal (Representative Antonio Cabral)
Click here for additional information on the individual amendments.
The FY13 budget process began with the release of Governor Patrick’s proposed budget in January. Massachusetts readers, now is the time to urge your state representative to support amendments related to early education. Next, the budget process moves to the Senate and onto a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets. Once the Legislature approves a budget, the measure goes to Governor Patrick. FY13 begins on July 1, 2012.