Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Student Loans

August 4, 2008

Student loans still available

July 31 – Governor Patrick has launched a Web page to provide answers and assistance relative to student loans for Massachusetts students and their families: www.mass.gov/studentloans

Heroes Among Us

July 23, 2008

Today ( July 23, 2008 ) Matt Cohen of Medford received a “Heroes Among us Award” and a citation from Representative Garballey.

Rep Garballey, Matt, Rebecca (Our Intern)

Rep Garballey, Matt, Rebecca (Our Intern)

Matt Cohen’s nomination for a “Heroes Among Us Award” says:

Through his tireless efforts and impressive devotion to social change and youth empowerment, Matt Cohen of Medford founded a unique after-school program for immigrant youth in Somerville. The “Academic Program at Centro Presente” provides much needed support with English tutoring, homework assistance, SAT preparation, and perhaps most importantly, offers mentors for each student.

As a Tufts student himself, Matt has recruited over 20 other members of the Tufts community to volunteer in his program. In large part due to the commendable work of Matt’s tutors, all ten of the high school seniors involved in the program will be attending college next year.

Matt, thanks from all of us.

posted by Mike McCabe, Legislative Aide to Sean Garballey

Governor Signs Bill

July 9, 2008
Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

Representative Sean Garballey, member of the Foster Care Coalition, joined Governor Deval Patrick for the signing of An Act Protecting Children in the Care of the Commonwealth

(Read the entire article on this site at “An Act Protecting Children in the Care of the Commonwealth) (see “Education” or “State News” this site)

Conference Report – Education

July 9, 2008

Provided by the Conference Committee on Education

 

FY09 Conference Report – Education

 

In adopting the FY09 Conference Report, the Massachusetts Legislature has continued to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the Commonwealth’s pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students receive an education of the highest quality.  From early education and care, to elementary school professional development, to college readiness, the budget sent to the Governor’s desk represents a well rounded approach to moving all students towards proficiency. 

 

The following are some of the education highlights from the FY09 Conference Committee budget.

 

 

K-12 EDUCATION

 

CHAPTER 70

The FY09 Conference Report reflects the amount agreed upon in the local aid resolution adopted on March 12th.  This resolution was adopted in order to assist cities, towns and regional school districts in their budget planning process. It includes an additional $223 million for Chapter 70 funding, providing a total of $3.9 Billion.  The language reflects our continued commitment to address long-standing concerns over the equity of the formula by phasing in the 3rd year of an anticipated 5 year process.

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF EDUCATION (7009-6379)

For the first time in any recent history, we now have an Executive Office of Education.  This important office, through the Secretary of Education, will provide the necessary coordination and alignment of our three education silos.  The Legislature has provided $947,000 for this office as it begins its first year of operation. 

 

DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION (7010-0005)

The Conference Report demonstrates a committed effort to continuing to build the capacity of the state Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.  The line received a significant increase over FY08 funding levels and the Legislature has also committed $100,000 for the Student Advisory Council which is comprised of 2 student representatives from each high school in the Commonwealth.

 

METCO (7010-0012)

For the fifth year in a row, the Conference Committee budget increases the appropriation for the METCO program. The program’s line is increased by $1,000,000 increasing funding to $21.6 million. This program provides quality integrated educational opportunities for students in the urban areas.

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL-TO-WORK (7027-0016)

The Conference Report increases funding for school-to-work programs by $320,000 over last year’s funding level, providing a total of $3.12 million. This amount includes a $245,000 earmark for Junior Achievement, a provider of programs in K-12 classrooms in the subject areas of entrepreneurship, workforce readiness, and economic and financial literacy.

 

FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN (7030-1002)

The Conference Report recognizes the importance of continuing with the Commonwealth’s commitment to the full-day kindergarten system by providing a total of $33.8 million for full-day kindergarten development grants.

 

READING RECOVERY LITERACY GRANTS (7030-1005)

This effective early intervention literacy program has helped improve the performance of children throughout the Commonwealth who are at-risk of failing to read by the end of 1st grade.  In recognition, the Conference Report provides $2.9 million to show its continued support for Reading Recovery.  This amount includes a $500K earmark which provides for Reading Recovery teacher salaries.

 

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION (7035-0006)

The Conference Committee budget increases spending on regional transportation by $3 million over the FY08 budget.  This addition brings such funding to $61.3 million – decreasing the gap to full funding of this program. These funds are critically important to regional school districts for which transportation costs are often a significant portion of their overall operating budgets. 

 

REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF NONRESIDENT PUPILS TO ANY APPROVED VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL PROGRAM (7035-0007)

The Conference Committee budget funds this line at $2,075,000, an increase of $125,000 over the FY08 funding level.  This line funds partial reimbursement of the transportation costs of regional vocational schools, agricultural schools, independent vocational schools, and collaboratives. 

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER (7061-0012)

The Conference Committee budget provides full funding for the special education circuit breaker for FY09 estimated costs, funding the line at $230,043,700.  This program provides state financial assistance to school districts for high-cost special education students. 

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION TRANSPORTATION PILOT (7061-0012)

For the fourth consecutive year, the Conference Committee Report includes funding for the statewide pilot program testing a model of delivery for special education transportation services.  The cost of these services has considerably outpaced the rise in regular education transportation in recent years and the quality of service needs improvement.  The goal of the pilots is to demonstrate how service and efficiency can be enhanced with more collaboration in out-of-district transportation. Over the next fiscal year, the pilot program will be rolled out to ten collaborative districts which will serve the entire state.  Additionally, the Conference Committee budget provides for $2 million for SPED transportation costs for participating school districts. 

 

SUPPORT OF BLIND AND DYSLEXIC STUDENTS (7061-0012)

The Conference Committee budget included $800,000 for audio taped textbooks for special needs children.

 

LOW-CLASS SIZE GRANTS (7061-0222)

The Conference Committee includes in the FY09 budget a $400,000 grant program for lowering the size of classrooms in grades K-3 to improve student achievement and reduce the achievement gap.

 

EXPANDED LEARNING TIME (7061-9412)

These grants help districts work through the many challenges that are involved in transitioning to a longer school day and/or year. The Legislature continues to show its commitment to this important initiative by providing this line item with $17.5 million, reflecting a $4.5 million increase over last year’s funding. 

 

CITIZEN SCHOOLS (7061-9610)

The Conference Report includes a total of $550,000 to support matching grants for Citizen Schools.  These valuable after-school learning programs help students strengthen their academic skills, develop their personal leadership skills, and better prepare them for college.  

 

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS (7061-9611)

Provides $5.55 million for after-school initiatives, reflecting an increase of $3.55 million over last year’s funding level.  This will help preserve and expand successful after school programs and will also support important summer month programming. 

 

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM (7061-9621)

The Legislature continued its commitment to funding programs for the Commonwealth’s highest achieving students, appropriating $750,000 for Gifted and Talented education.

 

YOUTHBUILD (7061-9626)

Provides $2.77 million, reflecting an increase of $500k over last year’s funding, for Youth Build programs which help 16 to 24 year olds learn valuable vocational skills while earning a diploma or GED.  These additional funds will ensure that this successful program reaches out to more of our state’s unemployed and undereducated young people.

 

TEACHER CONTENT TRAINING (7061-9804)

The Legislature has again shown its commitment to ensuring that our educators receive high-quality content training for math and science.  In addition, funds have been set aside for Advanced Placement (AP) training for educators in an effort to increase the number of AP classes and students in the Commonwealth.

 

 

 

BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM (7061-9805)

The Conference Committee provides $250,000 in funding for a Bullying Prevention Program. 

 

 

EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE

 

In the FY09 Conference Report the Legislature shows its continued commitment and support for the care and development of young children by providing funding for the following early education and care line items:

 

UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM (3000-5075)

The FY09 Conference Report demonstrates the Legislature’s continued commitment to our young children by supporting its goal of moving toward universal access to high quality early childhood and care in the Commonwealth. The Conference Report funds the MA UPKprogram at $12.1 million in order to provide access to quality pre-kindergarten education and related services for three and four year old children in the Commonwealth. This reflects an increase of $5 million over last year. Additional language in this line item also enables funding to be used to leverage and enhance community wide capacity building efforts in the Commonwealth.  

                                     

RATE RESERVE FOR EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE PROVIDERS (1599-0042)      

The Conference Report provides a total of $5 million for the provider rate reserve. This subsidized child care rate will help child care providers attract and retain high-quality staff, effectively contributing to the overall improvement of our state’s child care system.

 

EARLY EDUCATOR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM (7070-0065)

Provides $4 million for the early educator scholarship. These funds will provide opportunity and resources for our early education teachers and child care providers to obtain college level education in the area of child development.  Scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees and expenses for eligible candidates working in the field of early education and care while pursuing associates, bachelors, or masters degrees.    

 

SUPPORTIVE CAREDSS (3000-3050)

Provides $79.09 million for supportive early education and care. This line item ensures all children in the Commonwealth with active DSS cases receive child care services.

 

CHILD CAREVOUCHERS- TANF (3000-4050)

Provides $197.7 million for child care vouchers and contracts, reflecting an increase of $30.8 million in order to ensure adequate childcare slots are in place for welfare recipients.

 

INCOME ELIGIBLE CHILDCARE (3000-4060)

Provides $213.6 million for income-eligible early education and care programs, reflecting an increase of $3.74 million over last year’s funding level.

 

HEAD START GRANTS (3000-5000)

The Conference Report provides a total of $10 million for grants to Head Start programs, reflecting a $1 million increase over last year’s funding. This invaluable program provides services to needy children from 0-5 years of age. Since 1964, this federal-to-local school-readiness program has provided comprehensive services to families in the Commonwealth who are living at or below the poverty level.

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (3000-6050)

Provides $4.6 million for professional development opportunities for early education and care providers in the Commonwealth, reflecting an increase of $1.45 million over last year’s funding.

 

MENTAL HEALTH CONSULTATION SERVICES (3000-6075)

Provides a total of $2.9 million for the provision of mental health consultation services designed to address mental health issues at an early age and limit the unnecessary suspension and expulsion of pre-school aged children in the Commonwealth. This amount reflects an increase of $400k over last year’s funding level.

 

REACH OUT AND READ PROGRAM (3000-7050)

Earmarks $1 million for the Reach Out and Read Program.  This program promotes early literacy by providing families with new books and training doctors and nurses to give advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children.

 

PARENTING SKILLS (3000-7050)

Earmarks $3.1 million to provide continued support for the Parent Child Home Program.  This scientifically proven parental education program fosters quality parent-child educational interaction, and teaches parents how to encourage the development of their child’s early literacy skills.  Also earmarks $5.4 million for Mass Family Networks program. 

 

 

 

 

 

Legislature Supports Libraries

July 8, 2008

Contributed by Naomi Parker, Representative Falzone’s Office

Library Legislative Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Falzone and Representative Sean Garballey, members of the newly formed Library Legislative Caucus, announced that the Massachusetts Legislature has provided strong funding for Massachusetts libraries in the Legislative Budget for Fiscal Year 2009. This final budget, approved in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, now moves to the desk of Governor Deval Patrick for signature into law.

These items in the budget include $17,166,071 for state aid to regional libraries and $9,989,844 for state aid to public libraries, both increased from appropriations in previous years. The budget also provides expanded money for two Talking Book Libraries, serving those who are blind or sight impaired, both of which received historically high funding. Other budgetary items include $1,048,560 for the operation of the Board of Library Commissioners, $3,101,000 for a Library Technology and Resource Sharing Network, and $250,000 for a matching grant program to encourage private fundraising.

Representative Garballey is a founding member of the Library Legislative Caucus.