We are disappointed in the level of funding for both K-12 and public higher education in the House budget. To supplement the funding levels recommended in that budget, we will be asking the Legislature to approve Governor Mitt Romney's original bill to close corporate tax loopholes (House 21). That would raise an additional $170 million that could be allocated to public education.
In the K-12 arena, that money should be used in part to increase local aid to cities and towns (Chapter 70) and in part to restore funding to education grant programs that have been cut, such as the class size reduction, full-day kindergarten and after-school remediation programs. In higher education, additional monies should be distributed to our community colleges, state colleges and the University of Massachusetts.
Even with these additional funds, state spending on public education in Massachusetts would still be far below where it was a few years ago. For example, if the House plan is passed with no additional funding, then Chapter 70 spending would be $365 million below where it was in FY02, when adjusted for inflation and enrollment. Education grant programs were also cut significantly over the past three years. Similarly, state spending on higher education is down by more than $300 million compared to where it was in FY01, when adjusted for inflation.