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Joint Committee on Ways and Means FY2017 Budget Hearings

Education and Local Aid Hearing
Monday, Feb. 29, 10 a.m.
Everett High School Library
100 Elm Street, Everett

This hearing will be chaired by Ways and Means Committee members Rep. Paul Brodeur, D-Melrose, and Senator Sal DiDomenico, D-Everett. The committee will hear testimony from agency officials, including the Secretary of Education, and representatives from the Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Higher Education and UMass. An MTA panel has been invited to give testimony when agency officials have finished. The public is invited to attend and to submit written testimony.

Public Hearing on All Budget Issues
Friday, March 4, 10 a.m.
Gardner Auditorium
State House, Boston

Testimony from the public will be taken beginning at 10 a.m.

Testifying in Person
If you would like to testify at the March 4 hearing, plan to arrive early, as testimony will be taken in sign-up order. Bring at least three copies of your written testimony, one to submit to the committee and two to bring to your own legislators. Verbal testimony should be limited to three minutes. 

Submitting Written Testimony
If you cannot attend, take the opportunity to submit testimony to the members of the Ways and Means Committee and your own legislators. This is a chance to tell your elected leaders how funding issues are affecting your students and your school. Submit your testimony, no later than March 4, to your state representative and senator and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian Dempsey at Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov. You can also mail your testimony to him at Chairman Brian Dempsey, House Ways and Means Committee, State House, Room 243, Boston, MA  02133. Click here for contact information for your state representative and senator. Please also send a copy of your testimony to Julie Johnson, MTA, at jjohnson@massteacher.org.

Suggestions for Writing Testimony
Your testimony should be as specific and personal as possible, explaining how the state budget cuts over the past years have affected you, your fellow educators, your students, department or school/college or university. If applicable, point out increased class sizes, lack of materials and programs, loss of support personnel, libraries and the arts. Mention why increased funding for education is necessary to provide the schools that our children deserve. 

Click here for our analysis of the governor’s budget proposal. Highlights include:

PreK-12 Insufficient funding of Chapter 70, the reduction in grants for full-day kindergarten, cuts to the special education circuit breaker and regional school transportation, proposed changes to charter school reimbursements and the combination and cutting of other important grant programs.

Higher Education Insufficient funding for campuses and proposed cut to the Group Insurance Commission which would increase health insurance costs for state employees.

An overall analysis of the governor's budget from the Mass Budget & Policy Center is available here.

Questions
Email Julie Johnson at jjohnson@massteacher.org, or call her at 617-878-8315.