The House Ways & Means Committee, the committee charged with writing the House's first draft of the budget, released yesterday its recommendations for spending and revenue for FY 2019.
The Committee proposes appropriating $32.58 million for adult basic education (ABE) in the coming fiscal year, a nearly $3 million or approximately 10 percent increase over current funding levels.
While ABE advocates should be heartened by this proposed increase,
further progress is needed in restoring the purchasing power state funding for ABE has lost since the early 2000s. After adjusting for inflation, Massachusetts provided the equivalent of $43.8 million for ABE back in FY 2001; today, it stands at roughly $30 million, a difference of some 30 percent.
Representative Bob Koczera (D-New Bedford) is preparing an amendment to bring ABE appropriations to $34.5 million for FY 2019
This higher level of funding would enable programs to enroll even more students, to reach under-served communities, to advance curriculum development, and to improve working conditions for dedicated instructors, advisors, and counselors.
To learn more about MCAE's FY 2019 budget request of $34.5 million, please click here.
We urge you, as soon as possible, to call your State Representative and ask him or her to:
- Sign on as a cosponsor to the Koczera Amendment;
- Advocate for the Koczera Amendment in their conversations with their colleagues and with House leadership, and;
- Vote for the Koczera Amendment when the full House of Representatives considers the FY 2019 budget in two weeks.
Please, make your calls right away! Representatives have only a limited time during which to sign on as cosponsors and - if this amendment is to pass - we need to demonstrate to the full House of Representatives the depth of support behind it.
To find your State Representative and his or her phone number, please visit
and enter your street address.
You may only be able to reach an aide to your Representative, but you should still make your request to them, as they serve as your legislator's "eyes and ears".
After you call your State Representative, please take a moment and contact Jeff McLynch, MCAE's Director, at either 617-482-6223 or
to let him know who you called and how it went.
In the end, the increase supported by the House Ways & Means Committee is a testament to all of the work you have done in recent months to call attention to the needs of adult basic education field and to the positive impact it has in communities across the Commonwealth.
Your calls now can help ensure that further progress is made before this year's budget debates are over.