Education

PROMISE Act

Equity and Partnership in 2019

The bill that fully fixes our broken education funding system.

Supported by unprecedented coalition of educators, advocates, & experts.

It's time to fulfill our promise.

Students, parents, teachers, school committees, administrators mayors, business leaders, and legislators from across the Commonwealth are joining together to support the Education PROMISE Act.

 

We're calling on the legislature to pass the bill by the end of 2019 -- including all five of the bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommendations to stop underfunding schools and to close the achievement gap.

Sign up to get updates & join the push!

 

Co-Sponsors (so far!)

Senators

Aaron Vega
Mary S. Keefe
Russell E. Holmes
Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.
Antonio F. D. Cabral
Jack Patrick Lewis
John Barrett, III
Jennifer E. Benson
Natalie M. Blais
Peter Capano
Mike Connolly
Michelle M. DuBois
Nika C. Elugardo
Elizabeth A. Malia
Carlos González
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf
Christopher Hendricks
David Allen Robertson
Tram T. Nguyen
Brian W. Murray
Christina A. Minicucci
Maria Duaime Robinson
Lindsay N. Sabadosa
José F. Tosado
Angelo M. Scaccia
Mathew J. Muratore
Daniel J. Hunt
John H. Rogers
James M. Murphy
James Arciero
James K. Hawkins
Susannah M. Whipps
Brian M. Ashe
Bruce J. Ayers
Christine P. Barber
David Biele
Paul Brodeur
Daniel R. Carey
Michelle L. Ciccolo
Edward F. Coppinger
William L. Crocker, Jr.
Daniel R. Cullinane
Josh S. Cutler
Marjorie C. Decker
Mindy Domb
Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Dylan A. Fernandes
Sean Garballey
Carmine Lawrence Gentile
Kenneth I. Gordon
Tami L. Gouveia
Richard M. Haggerty
Stephan Hay
Natalie M. Higgins
Kevin G. Honan
Louis L. Kafka
Patrick Joseph Kearney
Kathleen R. LaNatra
John J. Lawn, Jr.
Jay D. Livingstone
Adrian C. Madaro
John J. Mahoney
Paul W. Mark
Paul McMurtry
Liz Miranda
Lenny Mirra
Rady Mom
Frank A. Moran
Harold P. Naughton, Jr.
Shaunna L. O'Connell
Smitty Pignatelli
Denise Provost
David M. Rogers
Daniel J. Ryan
Jon Santiago
Paul A. Schmid, III
Alan Silvia
Theodore C. Speliotis
Steven Ultrino
Andres X. Vargas
John C. Velis
RoseLee Vincent
Tommy Vitolo
Bud L. Williams
Jonathan D. Zlotnik

Sonia Chang-Díaz
Jason M. Lewis
Marc R. Pacheco
Adam G. Hinds
Mark C. Montigny
Edward J. Kennedy
Rebecca L. Rausch
Michael J. Barrett
Michael D. Brady
Harriette L. Chandler
Joanne M. Comerford
Julian Cyr
Barry R. Finegold
James B. Eldridge
Paul R. Feeney
Patricia D. Jehlen
Patrick M. O'Connor
Dean A. Tran
Michael F. Rush
Michael J. Rodrigues
James T. Welch
Anne M. Gobi
Cindy F. Friedman
Brendan P. Crighton
Ryan C. Fattman
Eric P. Lesser
John F. Keenan
Donald F. Humason, Jr.
Michael O. Moore
Joseph A. Boncore
Nick Collins

Representatives

Our Broken System

Every day, students across Massachusetts walk into schools that are facing dire challenges. Over the last decade, school districts have been forced to make difficult cuts year after year. Classrooms across the state have lost critical services and programs, including social-emotional supports like counselors, wrap-around services, resources like technology and books, professional development, arts classes, and preschool programs.

On top of these cuts, Massachusetts has one of the worst achievement gaps in the United States between rich and poor students.

 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

 

In 1993, Massachusetts created the “Foundation Budget” with a promise to ensure all school districts could provide their students with a quality education. Unfortunately, that original formula underestimated key needs and in the 25+ years since, we have done little to other aging provisions – preventing schools from providing children the education they need to succeed.

 

The 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC) found that the original formula fell drastically short on the resources necessary to close achievement gaps for low-income students and English Language Learners. The FBRC also found that health care and special education costs have surpassed assumptions built into the original formula. In all, the bipartisan commission of experts found that Massachusetts is underestimating the cost of education by $1-2 billion every year.

Solution: PROMISE Act

We need to fix the formula to more accurately and equitably distribute resources – giving all schools the funding they need to deliver high-quality, 21st century education. 

 

The PROMISE Act will set a multi-year phase in of the FBRC recommendations, including:

  • Realistically accounting for districts’ health care costs by using actual averages from the Group Insurance Commission to set insurance costs and inflation rates in the Foundation Budget.
     

  • Modernizing the ELL and low-income components to provide critical services as identified by national research on best practices, examples provided by other states, and practices highlighted by leading districts here in Massachusetts.
     

  • Accurately projecting special education costs by increasing the assumed in-district SPED enrollment rate to 16% and increasing the out-of-district cost rate to reflect the total costs that districts bear before the SPED “circuit breaker” is triggered.
     

  • Establishing a Data Advisory Task Force to improve our use of school-level data to better inform future policy decisions and ensure funding is reaching the intended populations.
     

  • Fixing funding glitches and preventing phase-in inequity. Corrects current undercounting of poverty by providing districts with the option to manually count their low-income students rather than rely on flawed data matching. Additionally, ensures that all students in district public school receive their promised aid from the state after accounting for charter tuition factors. Also ensures low-income, health care, and minimum aid provisions are all implemented at the same pace, so no district gets left behind.