Sunday, October 18, 2020

Governor's budget "cuts the amount of K-12 school funding"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

THE UNVEILING of Gov. Charlie Baker’s revised fiscal year 2021 budget raised eyebrows. Some called it a “miracle budget” because he proposed a balanced budget without large-scale cuts and — notably — without raising taxes.

To be clear, raising taxes on families and businesses already facing financial hardship is not the right thing to do — on this point, we agree with the governor.

Where we disagree is the idea that the state can get through this storm without raising any taxes. The wealthiest households and large, profitable corporations should be paying more taxes to support communities in this time of dire need.

We commend the administration for some proposals, like delaying the state charitable deduction, and for its overall budget-balancing prowess. However, there are many areas where this budget falls short of our communities’ needs.


The prime example is K-12 school funding. A new law, the Student Opportunity Act, recognized the need to dramatically increase state support for students in low-income families, English Language Learners, and those receiving special education.

Not only does the governor’s new budget delay the Student Opportunity Act’s implementation, it also cuts the amount of K-12 school funding from his January proposal by $195.5 million. (The slight increase in his budget compared with last year accounts only for inflation and normal enrollment growth.) The pain of these cuts will fall hardest on our students, particularly from Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, which the new law was intended to support.

On top of these challenges, schools are trying to retrofit buildings for safe ventilation, ensure all students have access to online learning, and support children facing trauma. Federal relief will cover some of these unexpected costs, but that relief is insufficient, often restrictive, and contingent upon a mercurial Congress.

Continue reading the article online
Links to the Governor's updated budget can be found online

Chapter 70 Unrestricted Gen'l Gov't Aid
FY 2021 - January 2020 5,479,534,540 1,160,218,724
FY 2021 - October 2020
Difference -195,882,908 -31,601,288 

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