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Mayor Walsh Announces Single Largest Investment in Direct Funding to Support Students
BOSTON - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - Building on his historic commitment to investing in our students and schools, during his 2020 State of the City address this evening, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a $100 million investment in new direct funding to support students at the Boston Public Schools. This funding will be phased in over the next three years to reach an annual investment of $100 million for direct classroom funding that is over and above cost increases. This level of planned new investment has never been seen before in Boston's history, and will reach every public school in Boston.
The $100 million investment over the next three years will focus on student wellness and mental health supports, curriculum enrichment, and programming and activities, and 100% of the funding will go directly to students or services provided by schools. The investment will be made on top of standard costs increases, such as inflation and employee costs.
"Since 2014, Mayor Walsh and the Boston School Committee have committed to working with parents, teachers, students and community members for increased public education funding at all levels to address the critical needs in our schools,"
There is no better reflection of Mayor Walsh's commitment to equal opportunity than the City's continued strong investment in public education. Over the past six years Boston has grown annual public education spending at the Boston Public Schools (BPS), charter schools and Universal Pre-Kindergarten by over $360 million. This unprecedented level of investment makes up 40% of all new city funds that have been added to the annual budget.
Boston's most recent BPS budget includes $1.177 billion to support high-quality education for all BPS students. This overall level of investment of $1.177 million is not only at historic levels, but represents a 37 percent increase in per-student funding since FY14, up to over $22,000 per student. Included in this year's current budget is a $15 million investment in a quality pre-Kindergarten fund, which will guarantee access to free, high-quality pre-K for all 4-year olds living in Boston within five years. Other signature investments include free MBTA passes to all Boston students in grades 7-12; full-time nurses in every school, additional mental health counselors, and tuition-free community college available to BPS graduates. Building on the continued investments in BPS, the Fiscal Year 2021 budget for Boston Public Schools will be formally presented to the Boston School Committee on February 5th.
Following years of advocacy and hard work from led by a coalition of mayors, city leaders, parents, teachers, and advocates, the Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a landmark education finance reform law that was signed into law by the Governor. The law will directly benefit Boston's students with $100 million in additional funding per year once in full effect in the next seven years. Today's announcement bolsters this new state funding by putting this direct investment into our school systems effective in the new fiscal year in June.