On Thursday, June 28, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate approved the $32.5 billion FY13 state budget that was released by the conference committee. The budget draws $350 million from the state’s “rainy day” account, leaving roughly $1.2 billion in reserves. The proposal was sent to Governor Deval Patrick for his approval. The budget includes $488.1 million for the Department of Early Education and Care. It also includes $23.95 million for full-day kindergarten grants, an increase of $1 million over FY12 funding levels. Of the $7.44 million at stake across early education and care-related line items, $5.23 million made it into the conference committee budget.
Here is how line items relating to early education and care fared:
- EEC Administration (3000-1000) — $12.32 million
- Access Management (3000-2000) — $5.93 million
- Supportive Child Care (3000-3050) — $77.33 million
- Income Eligible (3000-4060) — $231.87 million
- Services for Infants & Parents (3000-7050) — $18.16 million
- Reach Out and Read (3000-7070) — $750,000
- Kindergarten Expansion Grants (7030-1002) – $23.95 million
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten (3000-5075) — $7.5 million (includes language aligning UPK with the Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System)
- Massachusetts State Scholarship program (7070-0065) — $87.61 million (includes language preserving FY12 funding levels for the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship)
The FY13 budget also includes allocations for line items related to early education and care that, due to matching House and Senate funding, did not require conference committee negotiations:
- Head Start (3000-5000) — $8 million
- Early Childhood Mental Health (3000-6075) — $750,000
- TANF (3000-4050) — $125.5 million
Click here for more information on early education and care and related items in the FY13 Massachusetts state budget.
Governor Patrick now has 10 days to approve the budget and can make vetoes or amendments. The new fiscal year begins on July 1, however a $1.25 billion interim budget was recently passed to provide state government with funds to operate through July 10.
Massachusetts readers, send a message to Governor Patrick encouraging him to approve early education and care line items in the FY13 state budget.