Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019

Last updated: 7/1/18

Education overview

The City of Boston is investing in its students to invest in its future. Education comprises 40% of the FY19 budget with a projected $1.112 billion to support 57,000 students at Boston Public Schools (BPS) and $194.9 million to support 11,025 Boston students in charter schools.

Overall education funding is increasing by $72 million, despite a projected increase of just $1.9 million in Chapter 70 Education Aid and a charter reimbursement that is projected to be underfunded by $28 million by the state. Since Mayor Walsh took office, Boston has increased its annual spending on education by $261 million despite a $1.4 million reduction in education funding from the state.

Boston Public Schools budget

This spring, the City adopted a $1.112 billion budget for BPS which marks the largest BPS budget in history. With this investment, Mayor Walsh has increased funding for the BPS annual budget by $51 million from the FY18 adopted budget, and the number of BPS educators will have increased by approximately 358 since he took office. Funding directed to schools will increase by $40 million or almost 6% in FY19, even before the largest driver of BPS costs, employee collective bargaining increases, are negotiated.

Budget breakdown

Category FY18 FY19 $ Change
Direct School Expenses 692M 733M 40M
School Services Budgeted Centrally 307M 316M 9M
Central Administration 62M 63M 2M
Total Appropriation 1.061B 1.112B 51M

FY19 Investments

The FY19 budget includes strategic investments in line with the BPS guiding principles for budget equity: closing opportunity and achievement gaps, making system-wide investments, and enabling school-led investments.

More funding directed at schools

$10 million of new investments are targeted to schools with concentrations of high need as well as a series of new supports for schools with declining enrollments, particularly those that are lower performing. These include $3 million that will be targeted to English language learners, and $3 million that will be allocated using the Opportunity Index, an innovative approach to identifying high-need students.

Strategic investments to close opportunity and achievement gaps

The budget also includes a series of targeted high-impact investments to support physical and mental health and close opportunity and achievement gaps that total $6 million. These include the addition of 20 new social emotional wellness professionals, expanding Excellence for All to the 6th grade, and expanding the Becoming a Man program, and adding 80 new high-quality pre-K seats in community based organizations.

Boston is also continuing its signature investments made under Mayor Walsh by sustaining Expanded Learning Time, adding nearly 150 new high-quality pre-K seats, and increasing supports for students experiencing homelessness.

Reducing central spending

The FY19 budget also continues the focus on finding central office and transportation efficiencies to pour back into schools and supports. Efforts to tighten budget management and identify efficiencies, along with Mayor Walsh’s commitment to education funding, make possible $16 million in new BPS investments beyond increases for teacher salaries. While the School Committee approved a balanced budget for FY19, the District still has underlying challenges that require structural changes to allow Boston to continue to effectively invest in its students in future years.