MTA president praises Senate Ways and Means Committee proposal

MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau offered praise for the education proposal released May 10 by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which calls for adding $210.4 million to Chapter 70 aid to school districts in the coming fiscal year.

"The Senate Ways and Means Committee's Chapter 70 proposal is a big step in the right direction," Boudreau said. "We are particularly encouraged that this proposal recognizes that the current foundation budget levels are inadequate."

The foundation budget is the state-determined minimum amount a school district must spend to provide an adequate education to its students. It is funded through a combination of local revenues and state aid.

"We applaud the Senate for exceeding the funding levels proposed by the House and the governor," Boudreau said. "State investment does matter when we set out to improve student achievement. Consistent, predictable, and strong funding from the state through the foundation budget formula is essential to ensure that all children in Massachusetts receive a quality education."

Boudreau noted that the Ways and Means Committee's education funding proposal incorporates items included in the MTA-supported Funding Schools for Student Success legislation, which would make revisions to the foundation budget and provide additional funding.

"We still have a long way to go before our school districts have all of the resources they need to help every student succeed," Boudreau said. "But the Senate proposal is a high point in the budget debate."

She added that the MTA looks forward to the release of the remainder of the Senate Ways and Means budget, which will include proposals for public higher education, grants and early childhood education. That is expected next week.

Watch for regular updates on the state budget.