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 Alert #3: FY2018         
9/29/17



ALERT SUMMARY:

1.  PURVIEW:  State (not federal)

2.  LEVEL OF MOBILIZATION:  staff, students, volunteers, friends, colleagues

3.  TIMELINE:  immediate 

LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES GOVERNOR'S  

VETO OF ABE FUNDING  

 

On Wednesday afternoon, by a 122-32 vote, the House of Representatives overrode Governor Baker's veto of critical funds for adult basic education for FY 2018.  On Thursday, the Senate followed suit by a 30-6 margin.  The Legislature's actions restore $850,000 in much needed resources, bringing the total ABE line item to $29.63 million for this year.
 
Thank you to each and every one of you who called, emailed, or met in person with your Representative or Senator over the past few weeks.  Your advocacy made a tremendous difference.  Your voice --  the voice of adult educators and students across the Commonwealth -- was heard, loudly and clearly!
 
Of course, now is also the time to thank those elected officials who cast their votes in favor of restoring ABE funding.  So, please take a moment today and call your Representative and your Senator to express your appreciation for their support of ABE.
 
To find your Representative and Senator, click here.  
 
-  To see how your Representative voted on the veto override, click here.
 
-  To see how your Senator voted on the veto override, click here.
 
We should especially recognize the efforts of the 49 Representatives who urged - via the letter below - the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee to take up the Governor's veto of ABE funding, particularly Representative Bob Koczera (D-New Bedford), who authored the letter.  If your Representative is among those who signed the Koczera ABE letter -- all of whom are also listed below -- please be sure to thank them for their leadership.
 
TEXT OF KOCZERA LETTER ON ABE FUNDING
 
Honorable Robert A. DeLeo - Speaker of the House
State House, Room 356
Boston MA 02133
 
Honorable Jeffrey Sanchez, House Chairperson
House Committee on Ways & Means
State House, Room 236
Boston, MA 0213
 
To the Honorable Speaker DeLeo and Chairperson Sanchez:
 
As you consider the Governor's vetoes for override of the FY 2018 State Budget, we respectfully urge you to restore a critical line item - Adult Basic Education/English for Speakers of Other Languages (ABE/ESOL), line item 7035-0002. We, as members of the House of Representatives, ask that this line item be reasonably restored to the Conference Committee appropriation of $29,632,378.
 
The Governor's veto substantially reduced the line item's funding, eliminated local earmarks, leaving the line item at an appropriation of $28,782,377 for FY 2018. This appropriation is below FY 2017 post-9c funding levels, which was $28,824,073. ABE/ESOL programs cannot be expected to continuously provide quality adult learning services to Massachusetts residents if the line item is substantially and unreasonably underfunded.
 
ABE/ESOL programs ensure that all adults have reasonable access to equal educational opportunities. The programs provide adult learners a means of attaining high school credentials, workforce development training, basic literacy skills, language support for non-English speaking adults, and other necessary skills for total self-sufficiency.
 
With a high school credential, a person can easily increase their earning potential - high school drop outs earn $8,825 less than workers who hold only a high school diploma.[1] Children of parents who have high school diplomas are also more likely to succeed in school.[2] And, it is generally accepted that education does lower incarceration and recidivism rates. These programs continue to prove their worth and benefit to the State, closing the workforce skills gap. ABE/ESOL programs guarantee a return on investment and opportunity, directly impacting economic inequality amongst the most underserved populations.
 
However, ABE/ESOL programs are not operating at their optimum capacity due to a trend of decreased State funding levels for more than a decade. Thousands of adult learners remain on wait lists to participate in these programs that have been so beneficial to the communities they serve. ABE/ESOL ensures that communities have a more literate and skilled workforce. Above all, the programs improve the quality of life for program participants and ensure the future success of their children in school.
 
It is for these reasons that we, collectively as members of the House of Representatives, seek your support to restore ABE/ESOL, line item 7035-0002, to the Conference Committee's appropriation of $29,632,378 for the FY 2018 Budget .
 
We thank you for your consideration of this request, and we look forward to an increase on this line item above the Governor's veto.
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert M. Koczera
Brian M. Ashe
Christine Barber
Antonio F.D. Cabral
Daniel Cahill
Linda Dean Campbell
Tackey Chan
Mike Connolly
Claire D. Cronin
Marjorie C. Decker
Diana DiZoglio
William Driscoll
Michelle DuBois
James J. Dwyer
Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Carole Fiola
William C. Galvin
Sean Garballey
Denise C. Garlick
Carmine Gentile
Carlos Gonzalez
Patricia Haddad
Steven Hay
Jonathan Hecht
Natalie Higgins
 
Kevin G. Honan
Louis L. Kafka
Mary Keefe
Kay Khan
Jack P. Lewis
David P. Linsky
Jay Livingstone
Adrian Madaro
Christopher Markey
Juana Matias
Frank Moran
David Nangle
James O'Day
Denise Provost
Angelo Puppolo
David Rogers
John Rogers
Paul A. Schmid, III
Alan Silvia
Frank Smizik
William Straus
Steven Ultrino
Aaron Vega
Chris Walsh
 
 
                  



[1] Data on earnings differentials taken from the American Community Survey; estimate of collective annual earnings loss reflect MCAE calculations based on ACS data on the number of individuals without a credential and the earnings differential between those with and those without such a credential.
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2853053/


 
QUESTIONS

- Email  Jeff McLynch or call 617-482-6223 (office) or 617-835-1421 (mobile).

 

NEXT MCAE PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING 
 
OCT. 20, 2017

 

 10 a.m. to 12 noon 

 

World Education
44 Farnsworth St
Boston, MA   

via videoconference:
Picknelly Education Center Holyoke, MA

 

Contact Sarah Schmidt

sschmidt@hcc.edu

for exact room location