The House Ways and Means budget was posted today at noon.
Amendments are due by the end of the day on Friday.
I tweeted out a thread last night with some perspective on the main questions for Chapter 70, and then today, I tweeted out a thread of the K-12 accounts. I have been updating this spreadsheet as we move through the budget cycle.
Cherry sheets are not yet updated, as of this posting.
The major news today, of course, is that the Ways and Means budget, while it does implement a 1/6th step toward the Student Opportunity Act goals--the Governor's House 1 budget in January implemented a 1/7th step--but it did not, despite calls starting in January, use a hold harmless methodology for counting students.
Here's what it looks like for us in Worcester:
|The enrollment drop is a $9.5M drop in the foundation budget.|
|If we instead don't lose that, it makes a significant difference in the bottom line.|
Brian Allen's slides, of course, from our February presentation.
What I can say is that the difference between the Governor's January budget and the House Ways and Means budget for Chapter 70 is $22M.
Of that, Worcester (as a whole) gets $2M. So tell me how that works out across the state?
which have experienced pandemic-related disruptions in their enrollment that negatively affect their chapter 70 aid for fiscal year 2022, or which have significantly increased their transportation needs in fiscal year 2022;
BUT the districts have to:
demonstrate a significant reduction in student enrollment on October 1, 2020, followed by a significant increase in enrollment on October 1, 2021, and which can further demonstrate that said enrollment volatility has materially and significantly impacted their chapter 70 aid distribution, and/or increased their required transportation costs for fiscal year 2022
And as a result, the state can't even start considering this until every district has their October 1 enrollment in, which, believe me, doesn't happen the first week of October.
And THEN they have to go through the enrollments and THEN they have to distribute the grants and THEN it's Thanksgiving and some handful of districts have gotten a little money.
You're not going to hire a teacher then; you're not going to split your overcrowded kindergarten then; you're not going rent or create new space in your building for your preschool then. That isn't when the funding is needed.
And how far is $40M going to go across the state? That isn't nearly enough.
This really is a gesture to show something was done without something materially being done.
I'm going to post this much tonight; I'll come back to add the account by account with some commentary later.