BAKER BUDGET PROPOSAL
ADDS FUNDS FOR ABE,
BUT STILL FALLS SHORT
CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY TO HELP SECURE $38.1 MILLION FOR ABE IN FY 2020!
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Charlie Baker released his recommendations for Massachusetts' FY 2020 budget, proposing that the Commonwealth spend $37.62 million on adult basic education in the coming year. With the Governor's announcement, the process of crafting the FY 2020 now begins in earnest.
The Governor's proposal, if it became law, would continue the progress that has been made in restoring ABE funding in recent years. Indeed,
thanks to your persistent and diligent outreach to your elected officials, funding for adult basic education has climbed from $28.8 million in FY 2017 to $33.35 million in FY 2019.
Yet, you know firsthand that further progress is still needed. For instance, nearly 20,000 adults continue to languish on state waiting lists, due in part to a roughly 24 percent decline in state appropriations since FY 2001, after adjusting for inflation.
Consequently, MCAE is calling upon the Massachusetts legislature to appropriate $38.1 million for adult basic education in FY 2020 (Line Item #7035-0002). Funding at this level would allow Massachusetts to strengthen the capacity of its ABE system and to:
- Serve more adults, moving hundreds who want and need to learn off waiting lists and into programs;
- Reach underserved communities, increasing the likelihood that learners are able enroll in programs near where they live or work;
- Attract and retain professional staff by improving compensation and working conditions to reduce costly and de-stabilizing turnover.
So, please, take a few minutes today to contact your elected officials in support of this request:
- Click here to find your legislators and their phone numbers.
- Call your state representative and state senator and ask them to please make a $38.1 million appropriation for ABE (Line Item #7035-0002) one of their top three priorities on the budget "wish lists" they submit to legislative leadership for FY 2020.
- Remind them that an investment in ABE is an investment in Massachusetts, in its people, and in its future economic success.
- Tell them that Governor Baker's budget plan is a step in the right direction but that Massachusetts can - and should - go even further.
- Share with them the impact that additional resources would have in your program, in your classroom, and in the lives of their constituents
- You may only be able to reach an aide to your representative or senator, but you should still make your request to them, as they serve as your legislator's "eyes and ears".
- Once you've made your calls, please use MCAE's feedback tool, available here, to let us know whom you've contacted and how they responded.
- Finally, share this email and this request with your colleagues, members of your Boards of Directors, local organizational partners, and other friends of adult education and ask them to call too!
Remember - the gains we've realized for adult education have happened only because we have made our voices heard - clearly, consistently, and convincingly! Thank you for helping us to continue to move forward in FY 2020.
MCAE has prepared a few resources to help you understand the state budget process and to help our elected officials understand the basics of ABE. Those resources are available via the links below as well as through MCAE's
. Please share these items with anyone you think might be interested!
Adult Education in the News
Over the past few weeks, a pair of items have appeared in print that help to demonstrate the importance of Massachusetts' adult education system in people's lives and that call renewed attention to the challenges that system faces.
A December 28 article from Southcoast Today summarized well the recent testimony of adult educators and learners from Charlestown and Chelsea before the
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Not long thereafter, a
powerful January 7 editorial in the Boston Globe underscored "a profound and persistent need for increased funding for adult education and specifically English as a Second Language adult programs" here in the Commonwealth.
After you've had a chance to read both items, be sure to pass them along to your colleagues and your community partners!