Governor Baker's Budget Proposal Would Be a Step Back for Adult Basic Education
This week Governor Charlie Baker released his budget proposal for FY2022 to the Legislature, with a recommendation of $40,606,883
for Adult Basic Education (line item #7035-0002).
If adopted, this would mean a $5.7 million cut from the FY21 enacted level.
The Governor's proposal unfortunately does not keep pace with the tremendous need for ABE, ESOL, and GED programs across Massachusetts, or with the challenges programs continue to face during the pandemic.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:
- ABE programs are doing more than ever, with students relying on these trusted community resources for more than just academics.
- ABE programs have pivoted to remote and hybrid instruction, but still lack necessary technology tools, professional development resources, and personal protective equipment.
The shift to remote and hybrid instruction has also meant programs are able to reach some students who might not otherwise be able to access instruction by removing some perennial barriers to participation like child care and transportation. Now is the time to invest more, not less, in ABE programs to ensure these innovations are successful and can be scaled up statewide.
MCAE Budget Request
Serve more students, ensuring that every adult who is waiting for a slot can find one;
Reach underserved communities, increasing the likelihood that students are able to enroll in programs near where they work or live or via technology;
Attract and retain professional staff by improving compensation and working conditions to reduce costly and de-stabilizing turnover.