On Wednesday, May 16, the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means (SWM) Committee released its recommendations for $32.275 billion in state appropriations for the fiscal year 2013 budget. The proposal addresses a $1.4 billion budget gap, draws on $290 million from the state’s rainy day fund and includes no new taxes. The Department of Early Education and Care is funded at $486.65 million in the SWM proposal, roughly $1 million less than in the House of Representatives FY13 budget proposal, due in part to cuts in early education and care access. The SWM budget proposes a cut to full-day kindergarten grants, funding the grants at $4 million less than the House FY13 proposal. Universal Pre-Kindergarten grants and the MA State Scholarship program, which funds the Early Childhood Educator Scholarship, are level-funded.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee’s recommended budget:
- Funds the Department of Early Education and Care at $486.65 million, roughly $1 million less than the House of Representatives FY13 budget and an $8.5 million reduction from FY12.
- Funds EEC Administration at $12.50 million, a $540,000 increase over the House budget.
- Funds Access Management at $5.43 million, $500,000 less than the House budget.
- Provides a combined $433.48 million for child care access, $1.2 million less than the House budget.
- Funds Head Start at $8 million, matching the House proposal.
- Level-funds Universal Pre-Kindergarten at $7.5 million.
- Level-funds early childhood mental health consultations at $750,000.
- Level-funds Services for Infants and Parents at $18.19 million.
- Level-funds Reach Out and Read at $800,000, a $200,000 increase over the House budget.
- Cuts full-day kindergarten grants to $20.95 million, $4 million less than the House budget.
- Level-funds the Massachusetts State Scholarship Program, which funds the Early Childhood Educator Scholarship. Includes language preserving FY12 funding levels for the ECE Scholarship.
- Does not fund a rate increase for early education and care providers.
- Does not fund an early literacy initiative for family child care providers that Governor Patrick included in his proposed Gateway Cities Education Agenda.
Click here for more information about the FY13 budget process – including the SWM Committee’s recommendations – regarding programs administered by the Department of Early Education and Care and other line items related to young children and high-quality early education.
State senators have until Friday, May 18, at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the Senate Ways and Means budget. The Senate will begin debate on the budget the week of May 21.