The FY 2023 Governor’s budget recommendations for the fiscal year 2023 have been released.
The budget recommendation will go to the House Ways and Means Committee before deliberations on the House floor. After that, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will consider the budget. In past years, both House and Senate have made significant changes to the initial proposal in from the Governor. In other words, there is a long road ahead before the FY 2023 budget is finalized.
In the Governor’s proposed budget, an increase of $591.4 million is recommended to fully fund the Student Opportunity Act (SOA), including $485 million in Chapter 70 funding, with a focus on school districts serving low-income students, for a total of $5.989 billion. The recommendation includes a second one-sixth step towards the goal of the SOA and also considers increases in calculations for health insurance, special education out-of-district enrollment, and low-income students. The proposal assumes an inflation rate cap of 4.5% and advocates may lobby for an increase to the more realistic 5.9%. There is a “hold-harmless” guarantee as well as a $30 per student minimum increase.
In addition to Chapter 70 reimbursements, school committee members have been particularly concerned with funding for special education, charter school mitigation and regional transportation line items.
MASC General Counsel Stephen Finnegan has released an overview and brief analysis of the proposal as it relates to public schools in a new Legislative Bulletin.