Thursday, January 12, 2017

Here comes the FBRC bill(s?)

The Bay State Banner talked to Senator Chang-Diaz about her plans for a bill implementing the Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommendations this upcoming session; bills are due January 20.
Chang-Diaz told the Banner that this latest bill would implement nearly all the FBRC recommendations, which include using a more accurate method to calculate employee health care costs and increasing funding allotments for the education of English language learners, special education students and low-income students.
 Do read the whole article, however.

This does leave some questions:

  • does anyone have any plans to do ANY kind of implementation for FY18? That would require language (and funding) in the budget to be considered this spring. The Governor's version comes out in two weeks; while we may or may not see anything there, do the legislators have a plan to do some implementation for FY18? They should.
  • how are the parts that were left unclear dealt with in Chang-Diaz's (and others?) bill(s). Low income wasn't specified, for example. 
  • are we going to continue with a special education formula that doesn't recognize real costs (the FBRC doesn't)?
  • while everyone acknowledges that "everyone is probably going to get something," is the Legislature (in particular) going to be able to recall and pass a bill that recognizes that equity is going to require greater resources going to greater need? 
Nonetheless, hopeful.

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