1. FY20 Budget Signed:
On July 31, Governor Baker signed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, a $43.321 billion plan with $5.2 billion for Chapter 70 education aid. Every school district will receive at least $30 in additional aid per student. The budget includes foundation budget rate increases in four areas identified by the Foundation Budget Review Commission: benefits and fixed charges, special education, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students. More information, including summary charts, a white paper, and a spreadsheet showing the calculations for each municipality and district, are available through DESE’s finance web page.
On July 29, Commissioner Riley visited the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Summer Program at Warren Community Elementary School in Warren, part of the Quaboag Regional School District. With help from a special guest, physical therapist Dr. Peter Ouellette, students learned about biomedical engineering and designed knee braces, applying their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to a real world challenge. The activity was a great example of deeper learning.
3. Recording on MCAS Preliminary Data and Discrepancy Process:
The Department has created a recording that provides principals and test coordinators with an overview of 2019 MCAS preliminary data and discrepancy process. The recording and accompanying slides are available through the MCAS Resource Center. (Please note that the recording will not play if it is opened with a Firefox web browser. Please use a different browser). The discrepancy period will continue through close of business August 6.
Schools and districts can contact the MCAS Service Center via email or phone (800-737-5103) during regular business hours for answers to logistical questions. Policy questions should be directed to the DESE’s Office of Student Assessment Services via email or by calling 781-338-3625.