Focusing on the Future
The City of Boston is investing in its children as the key to lifting up future generations of Bostonians.
Between the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and charter schools, public education makes up over 40% of the City’s FY23 budget. $1.335 billion will support the 50,000 students at BPS, and $264.5 million will support 11,001 Boston students in charter schools. The City's FY23 budget also includes investments in the new Office of Early Childhood to support childcare centers and the early education workforce.
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With the new Office of Early Childhood, the City is continuing to lay the foundation for the future by investing in its youngest residents. In addition, the Mayor has filed an appropriation order for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to make strategic investments in early education.
- ARPA funds would support the creation of a citywide workforce development program for early educators through licensure and business development training from the Childcare Entrepreneurship Fund.
- The City would also provide one-time grants in the form of stimulus funds for family childcare businesses in Boston and development of a user-friendly, multilingual web portal and call line for enrollment in early education programs, to align the enrollment process and timeline and expand access to a variety of early education programs.
The education budget will increase by $53 million over the FY22 appropriation, including Boston's charter school tuition assessment and the Boston Public Schools (BPS) budget.
In addition to the City's FY23 Operating Budget, BPS has received an award total of over $400 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. In FY22, BPS has appropriated about $108 million of the $400 million in funds.
FY23's budget includes $104 million in ESSER investments that complement BPS's operating investments. With this infusion of federal and City funds, BPS is in a unique position to transform the district and the way we think about public education. In response to feedback from students, families, and other members of the school community, this quality guarantee includes investments in student and family supports, curriculum and academics, facilities, and extended learning and enrichment.
Education Budget by Fiscal Year
Nearly 90% of the BPS budget will go into schools or toward direct student services.
Investing in Schools
In FY23, funding directly in schools will increase to $853 million. Combined with another $334 million in school services budgeted centrally — such as transportation, special education, and facilities — total spending in schools will reach about $1.19 billion, representing nearly 90% of the BPS budget.
To mitigate the impacts of enrollment declines, the City is also investing $26.7 million in school supports, on top of existing soft landings. These funds directly in school budgets will ensure that every school is able to maintain level services and continue supporting their students, regardless of enrollment fluctuations they may face in the coming year.
Direct School Expenses
Direct school expenses make up 64% of the BPS budget.
Districtwide BPS InitiativesInitiatives
To invest in student and family supports, the FY23 BPS budget includes an increased budget for translations and interpretations and works with federal funding to provide school-based psychologists, as well as academic and guidance counselors for grades K-8 and high schools, respectively. These investments prioritize holistic supports and expanded access to critical resources for students and their families.
Investments in curriculum and academics include the implementation of MassCore at all high schools, which will transform secondary level education and increase access to physical education, art, music, and academic enrichment during the school day. Federal funds will help support equitable literacy, bilingual supports, and increasing access to inclusive programming.
The City is investing $6.8 million in improved facilities through increased budgets for maintenance and repairs as well as facilities staffing at BPS. BPS will also expand capacity to address facilities and operations issues as they arise. Additional investments in improving transportation performance, increasing operations team capacity, updating HVAC and air quality systems aim to improve the overall student experience.
To expand enrichment beyond the classroom, investments in extended learning will increase access to libraries and invest in athletics. BPS plans to use a combination of Operating, Capital, and federal funds to revamp extended learning time activities and develop inclusive library collections across the district. Together, these investments help set up every student for success in reaching their full potential.
In FY18, the City announced a $1 billion investment to modernize Boston's public school infrastructure, through City capital funds and support from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). With projected spending from FY18-22 at $281 million and the FY23-27 Capital Plan investing $515 million in BPS projects, the City will exceed its commitment to provide $730 million over 10 years.
This Capital Plan enables the City to invest in new BPS projects and continue to support projects already in the pipeline, including:
- Design and construction for the new $193.6 million Josiah Quincy Upper School (JQUS) in Chinatown and the new $92 million Carter School building and outdoor learning spaces in the South End.
- Building improvements for grade reconfigurations at the Irving School in Roslindale and the Timilty School in Roxbury to minimize school transitions for students.
- Studies for rebuilds and reconfigurations at the McKinley School in the South End, new Pre-K-6 schools in Roxbury and in Dorchester, and the West Roxbury Complex.
- Upgrades to libraries, science rooms, and art rooms across schools, as well as increased budgets for auditorium improvements.