Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019

Last updated: 4/11/18

Early childhood education

Research confirms that prekindergarten has a positive impact on student achievement in the Boston Public Schools. BPS will serve 2,958 children in pre-kindergarten classrooms in FY19, a 147 increase from FY18.

Under Mayor Walsh's leadership, the City has continually expanded the number of high-quality pre-kindergarten seats. In September 2019, 976 more children will be enrolled in high-quality pre-kindergarten than when Mayor Walsh took office. This includes both BPS and community seats. BPS early education programs have been recognized as among the most effective in the nation at closing achievement gaps. They are content-rich in science, literacy, arts and math. Data shows BPS prekindergarten attendees outperform their peers in third and fifth grade MCAS, both in ELA and in Math.

Pre-kindergarten access

Expanding seats

Since Mayor Walsh took office, Boston has created 250 new seats at community-based organizations. These seats are funded by a federal Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) that the City of Boston and BPS secured in 2015, in partnership with MA Early Education and Care. PEG funds high-quality seats in community-based organizations (CBOs) and serves as one of the templates for Boston’s Universal Pre-K system. This funding, as well as an earlier private/public partnership, will be used to provide the groundwork for an expansion of Pre-K seats in Boston through a mixed delivery system of BPS and community-based partners going forward.

Addressing the gap

Mayor Walsh has also filed early education finance legislation to close the “quality gap” in pre-kindergarten seats in Boston by investing in programs at BPS and in community based organizations. To dedicate $16.5 million to early education, this legislation would redirect the surplus amounts generated by two Convention Center Fund revenues that are produced exclusively in Boston.

Strengthening programs

BPS will continue to strengthen and expand programs, including full-day K1 classrooms for four-year-olds. More than 60% of BPS early childhood classrooms have earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), affirming that these programs offer high-quality, state-of-the-art education to help get children off to successful starts.