On Tuesday, Governor Baker announced his administration’s plan to close a mid-year state budget gap of $768 million. To do this, the governor relies on non-tax revenue adjustments as well as “9C cuts” to reduce fiscal year 2015 spending levels for nearly 300 line items. Baker explains his approach in a press release.
How did early education fare?
Overall, Baker reduced the Department of Early Education and Care’s budget by $5.5 million, including: a $2.1 million cut to the TANF access account; a $1 million cut to Head Start; a $1 million to Coordinated Family and Community Engagement grants; and $750,000 from the new K1 classroom grant program. EEC administration, Access Management, and waitlist reduction funds were also cut by smaller amounts.
In addition, Full Day Kindergarten grants were cut by $5 million. These quality grants are managed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and fund para-professional salaries, program curriculum, professional development, and other activities.
In light of these cuts, your advocacy will be critical as our state legislators debate the fiscal year 2016 budget.
So please participate in Rising Stars 2015 and send a message to Governor Baker and your state legislators today.
Stay tuned for more advocacy opportunities: Our policymakers need to hear from all of us. Together, we can advocate for and secure the investments in high-quality early education that will provide bright futures for the commonwealth’s young children.