Mayor Walsh Announces Nearly $5M in Additional Funding for BPS Budget
June 13, 2016
BOSTON - Monday, June 13, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that he will file for an additional $4.7 million for Boston Public Schools (BPS) in Fiscal Year (FY17) to invest in several proposed initiatives aimed at the long-term success of Boston's schools. These initiatives, part of Superintendent Tommy Chang's long term vision for BPS, include rolling out the Excellence for All program in 13 schools, planning for a new dual language program in three schools, preparing for Extended Learning Time expansion in FY18, and implementing a transportation data system.
"I believe deeply in public education, and I believe our unstinting goals in public education should be to close opportunity and achievement gaps, meet the diverse needs of every kind of student, and make our district schools top choices for every family in every neighborhood," said Mayor Walsh. "I am pleased to re-submit the FY17 operating budget with a nearly $5M increase for BPS, which will fund programs aimed at getting all of our children on the pathway to success."
Mayor Walsh's Medium post on education and the increase in the BPS budget.
Chief Financial Officer David Sweeney's Medium post on the data behind the BPS budget.
On Friday, June 17, Superintendent Chang will present his plan for the additional investments to the School Committee for their approval:
- A $1.2 million investment in the new Excellence for All program will offer 4th graders in 13 schools access to rigorous and enriched experiences, bringing the benefits of the Advanced Work Classes to a more diverse set of students and equipping them with new skills such as foreign languages and robotics.
- The Superintendent plans to use data to improve operations, performance and efficiency of the district. BPS will roll out a transportation data system to track ridership, provide information to parents and improve student safety. BPS will use the data to streamline bus routes and improve operational efficiency for student transportation, which is budgeted to save $10 million in FY17. BPS will also develop a performance meter with measures to assess college and career readiness.
- The Superintendent will use funds to plan for BPS's future with instructional and logistical support for approximately 40 schools in advance of extended learning time roll out in FY18, grants to three schools to design a financially viable dual language program, and completion of the high school redesign.
- Additional funding will help ensure that students are learning in a safe environment .The funding will provide leadership for the safety office and expansion of the CrisisGo app, a notification system to guide principals and administrators and inform staff about ongoing emergencies and incidents with BPD intervention. BPS also plans to conduct a safety audit of facilities, policies and procedures.
- Finally, these investments will continue high levels of service to our families by adding an additional $400,000 to provide translation for BPS families in multiple languages.
"I extend my gratitude to Mayor Walsh for increasing education funding for our schools," said Superintendent Chang. "This investment will help move us forward as a district and will support many of the activities and programming that are extremely important to our students and families. Together, as a community, we remain deeply committed to the future of our children and I look forward to a promising year ahead." These are in addition to the investments Boston is already planning for FY17 that increase equity and better serve student needs such as:
- Increasing access to quality early childhood education by adding over 200 new pre-kindergarten seats on top of the 200 seats the Mayor added over the past two years;
- Investing thoughtfully in special education including additional classroom supports, a data system to improve parent access to children's special education plans, and transition services for special education students ages 14-22;
- Maintaining district commitments to expanded learning time, professional development and other school based supports as federal and state grants expire.
Consistent with Boston's annual budget process, the Mayor will resubmit the FY17 Operating Budget to the City Council on June 20, 2017. The FY17 Budget Resubmission will invest almost $1.032 billion in Boston Public Schools, an $18.2 million increase over the FY16 Budget, and the City is likely to add additional funds to the BPS budget if wages increase further through collective bargaining. To support this increased investment, the City will be budgeting $1.9 million in increased net state aid and $2.8 million in additional local receipts. Although net state aid is projected to be slightly higher than the City originally budgeted, it is still projected to decline from FY16 and fall almost $16 million short of funding the state's obligations to Boston for charter school reimbursement.
Mayor Walsh's Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget proposal, is a balanced and responsible plan that is responsive to the needs to Boston's residents. The budget builds on the Administration's strong and proactive fiscal management practices, implements department audit recommendations to achieve operational efficiencies and modernize processes, employs data-driven decision making, and continues to address long-term systemic challenges affecting the residents of Boston that have built up over many years. Through thoughtful reforms that achieve savings, and improved utilization of existing funds, Mayor Walsh's FY17 budget is able to make targeted investments toward achieving a thriving, healthy and innovative City.