On Tuesday of this week, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means released a $38 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. The proposal represents a 3.1 percent spending increase over FY15. It relies on $572 million in one-time funds and does not recommend any tax changes.
The committee’s proposal is themed “Lifting All Families,” and “makes targeted investments to foster shared prosperity, encourage overall economic growth and create new opportunities for people in all corners of our commonwealth.”
Among these targeted investments are increases to early education and care. The Department of Early Education and Care and its programs are funded at $545.51 million, roughly $6 million higher than in the House of Representatives’ FY16 budget. This includes a $12 million investment to serve children on the state’s income eligible waiting list for early education and care subsidies. The Senate proposal also consolidates two major subsidy access accounts, Supportive Child Care and TANF.
However, the Senate funds full-day kindergarten grants at $1 million, compared to the House’s funding of $18.59 million. The Senate proposal also includes a $2.5 million rate reserve for early educator salaries and benefits — this is half as much funding as in the House budget.
Visit our website for a full listing of early education line items and how they compare across budget proposals.
Senators will have until Thursday, May 14, 2015, at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the Senate Ways & Means budget proposal. Stay tuned for next steps.
For more information on early education in the state budget, contact Titus DosRemedios at email@example.com, or (617) 330-7387.