March comes to an end and April begins, the House of Representatives is finalizing their Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. On April 10th, their budget will be released. We will have a short time frame to call, email, and meet with our Representatives to ask them to co-sponsor our budget amendment priorities, so be on the lookout for action alerts. The week of April 24th is when budget debate will begin. If you had not had a chance to register as an advocate on the NEW action alert system please do so here:
Below are our Fiscal Year 2018 Budget priorities:
YMCA Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Priorities
Youth-at-Risk Line Item (4590-1507): $1.3 Million
-Massachusetts YMCAs were funded at $1.1 Million in Fiscal Year 2017. Unfortunately, due to mid-year spending cuts, we received $800,000 in this line item.
-Funding is matched 11:1 by Massachusetts YMCAs
-With FY16 funding, the Ys provided achievement gap services to 55,000 at risk school aged youth, 50,000 of who avoided summer learning loss and 40,000 who maintained or gained at least two grade levels of literacy competency.
-Funding also went towards providing at-risk youth with greater exposure to Technology and Science, Fitness and Healthy Eating, and allowed for Y's in Massachusetts to offer beneficial mentorship programs and grants to send at-risk children to camp at no-cost.
Early and School Age Education and Care Rate Reserve (line item 1599-0042): $36 Million
-This would be the second year of a 3-year plan to move the reimbursement rate close to 75% of market rate - the rate recommended by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
-The reimbursement rate remains at 20-30% of market rate for early learning and out of school time.
-The turnover rate is now at 30%, and 37% of our teachers actually receive public support
Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) (line item 3000-1020): $31,962,455
-Support the Governor's funding proposal
-Funding is necessary to provide adequate staffing levels for Background Checks
-Funding is necessary to address staffing issues - providers can be left waiting for weeks or months to hire a new staff person due in part to funding
Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) Technical Assistance earmark (line item 3000-1020): $1 Million
-Earmark of funding within QRIS grant for EEC to provide T.A. to early education & after-school providers
-With changes in QRIS, funding is needed to assist providers to reach new quality standards
HomeWorks Program (7004-0101): $965,000
-Fund children in the Emergency Assistance Housing Program to attend after-school programs and camps
-Provides funding to nonprofit and community serving organizations to give Emergency Assistance children help with homework, socialization, physical activity, and nutrition.
-Established in FY17 budget but removed in mid-year spending cuts
Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund: Outside Section
-We request that an Outside Section of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget be added to maintain and increase funding to the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund.
-This Outside Section would go towards continuing the nine community partnerships that already exist and expand to other communities within the Commonwealth to bring preventive health to more Massachusetts Citizens.
Learn to Earn Line Item (line item 7002-1080)
-The YMCAs employ over 16,000 Massachusetts residents and are currently looking to employ more.
-This will provide the underemployed segment of the workforce with the necessary skills to find gainful employment and assist us, as the largest community service provider, with offering even more employment opportunities.