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In The News

Districts expecting less state education money

Bay State Banner, July 1, 2020

“We shouldn’t keep passing the buck,” said Colin Jones, senior policy analyst at Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “It makes no sense for individual districts and child care providers to be going into a completely out-of-control market for PPE and equipment individually.”

Commissioner: Fed aid won’t solve child care system woes

Daily Hampshire Gazette, July 1, 2020

Last week, the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimated that early education and family day care homes will need $690 million over the next five months to successfully reopen, cautioning that child care is a key foundation for virtually all other economic sectors because it enables parents to work.

Task force: Child care constraints threaten Cape recovery

Cape Cod Times, June 25, 2020

An investment of $690 million in federal and state funding during the next five months will be needed to bring the early education system out of closure and into continued operation, according to a report issued by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center earlier this week. “Without significant additional funding from the state or federal governments, the early education system in Massachusetts will be unable to reopen successfully and remain financially viable over the coming months as parents return to work,” the report stated. The report also notes the workforce that could be particularly hard-hit by closures are primarily low-salaried and “almost entirely women, and with more people of color and foreign-born workers compared to Massachusetts at large.”

At 'financial risk,' child care system needs $690M, says report

Boston Business Journal, June 24, 2020

In its new report, the nonprofit MassBudget estimated early education providers lost up to $250 million in private tuition each month of the shutdown. Now, providers may also face a 20% increase in the cost of operations due to new safety protocols and disruptions of enrollment. “Families with options, such as keeping kids home with family or private caregivers, may choose to move away from group child care entirely, further financially destabilizing the system,” the report said. The report noted low-income families and families of color are “more likely” to be hurt by child care center closures during the pandemic. “Accessible early education and care for young kids and their families is vital to the recovery of our economy from the Covid-19 crisis,” the report said.

Rep. Barber files bill to close corporate loopholes, raise progressive revenue, and fill budget gaps

The Somerville Times, June 24, 2020

“Raising new revenue responsibly is a critical tool to support and sustain our recovery,” said Rep. Barber. “Revenue the state would receive from recoupling to the GILTI provision could be used to fund our COVID-19 response, as well as our critical needs including equitable education funding, transportation and local services, making our Commonwealth stronger financially in the long-run.” “Our future hangs in the balance as we see billions of dollars potentially drained from schools, mass transit, and the public good” said Marie-Frances Rivera, President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Corporations who are profitable during this time have a moral obligation to pay their fair share and invest in our collective future.”

Education funding shortfall could spur new lawsuit

Commonwealth Magazine, June 23, 2020

This year was supposed to be the first year of funding under the new formula. In his January budget proposal, Baker proposed adding $303.8 million in new state aid to school districts, compared to the amount distributed in fiscal 2020. Because of the way Baker wanted to phase in changes related to low-income students, that represented slightly less than one-seventh of the total implementation cost, which the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center pegged at $375 million a year. But with the coronavirus pandemic tanking state revenues, Baker’s budget proposal is essentially meaningless. In the absence of an annual budget, the state plans to base its aid distributions to districts for July and August on the amounts they received this year.

COVID Tax Woes Delay Funding For $1.4 Billion Student Opportunity Act

WGBH, June 22, 2020

"Not having this additional funding is a recipe for disaster at this point," Marie-Frances Rivera, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, told WGBH News. "It's essentially $300 million that districts across the commonwealth" will lose, Rivera said, referring to the amount of money in the governor's pre-COVID budget for the Student Opportunity Act in fiscal 2021. That will affect mainly gateway cities who serve the most kids of color and low income kids and English language learners, she added. "Those districts were expecting this infusion of cash, which they're not going to get," said Rivera.

Tax cuts that continue to haunt Mass

Boston Globe - Op-Ed, February 12, 2013

Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone...About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since...The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million.

Look at what the state is doing right

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, January 23, 2011

WITH THE governor scheduled to file his budget proposal for the coming year on Wednesday, and the Commonwealth facing a budget gap of close to $2 billion, knowing that our government provides services as efficiently as possible will be more important than ever.