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 Alert #2: FY2018         


1.  PURVIEW:  State (not federal)

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

3.  TIMELINE:  immediate 




-  As you know from MCAE's prior Alert, Governor Baker signed the FY18 state budget into law in July, but not before vetoing an increase in ABE funding approved by the Legislature.  The Governor's action reduced the ABE line item by $850,000 to $28.78 million - that's less than what was available in FY17 after 9c cuts are taken into account.
- However, the Legislature may soon begin to override the Governor's vetoes - perhaps as early as next Wednesday, September 13.  We need to make certain that funding for ABE is among the items the Legislature decides to restore.   

-  ABE has significant support in both the House and the Senate, but, because the override process begins in the House, we must focus our efforts there for now.  We must all contact our state representatives and urge them to override the Governor's veto and restore funding to the $29.63 million approved by the legislature.

-  ABE is a critical component of the success of many of the state's other public policy priorities.  Successful K-12 education reform, family self-sufficiency, economic and workforce development, healthcare outcomes and civic engagement all depend on educated residents.

ABE is a vital investment in the Commonwealth's future.

-  Please call your state representative (not state senator) IMMEDIATELY and urge him/her to override the Governor's veto in ABE line item #7035-0002 and restore the line item amount to $29.63 million.  
-  Please also ask your state representative to sign on to the letter being circulated by Representative Robert Koczera (D-New Bedford) urging House leadership to support this critical restoration of funds.  The full text of Representative Koczera's letter is below.
- Your calls will help decide whether ABE is among the vetoes the Legislature overrides!

- To find your representative, go to my legislator.
- As always, please thank your representatives for their support.  

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.
Robert M. Koczera                          
11th Bristol District                


[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.


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


SEPT. 8, 2017


 10 a.m. to 12 noon 


World Education
44 Farnsworth St
Boston, MA   

via videoconference:
Picknelly Education Center Holyoke, MA


Contact Sarah Schmidt

for exact room location