Fiscal Year 2018 Recommended Budget

Beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018


Education overview

The City of Boston is investing in its students to invest in its future. Education comprises 40% of the FY18 budget with a projected $1.081 billion to support Boston Public Schools and $174.3 million to support approximately 10,600 Boston students in charter schools.

Education also comprises 40% of the growth in the budget, with an increase of $57.8 million (4.8%) over FY17. This increase is in spite of a projected increase of just $1 million in Chapter 70 Education Aid and a charter reimbursement that is projected to be underfunded by $25 million by the state.

Over the last 4 years, Boston has increased its annual spending on education by $207 milliion despite a reduction in education funding from the state.


Boston Public Schools budget

This spring, the School Committee approved a $1.061 billion budget for the Boston Public Schools. At a $1.061 billion appropriation plus a $20 million collective bargaining reserve , this marks the largest Boston Public Schools budget in history. With this investment, Mayor Walsh has increased funding for the Boston Public Schools’ annual budget by $143 million, and BPS staff levels will have increased by approximately 250 since taking office.

Funding directed to schools will increase by almost 4%, even before the largest driver of BPS costs, employee collective bargaining increases, are negotiated, a $25 million increase over FY17.

Budget breakdown


FY17 FY18 $ Change
Direct School Expenses 667M 692M 25M
School Services Budgeted Centrally 300M 308M 8M
Central Administration 65M 62M -3M
Total Appropriation 1.03B 1.06B 29M
Reserve for Collective Bargaining 9M 20M 11M
Projected Total Budget 1.04B 1.08B 40M

Closing the opportunity and achievement gap

In FY18, Boston Public Schools is proposing to make important research-backed investments to close the opportunity and achievement gap.

  • Boston is investing $14 million to give 15,000 students, from kindergarten through 8th-grade, 120 additional hours of learning time — or the equivalent of 20 more school days a year.
  • In addition, by strengthening BPS’s commitment to Excellence For All, more students in the fourth and fifth grade will receive the same rigorous instruction and enriched learning opportunities as those in Advanced Work Class (AWC).
  • Boston is also making a strategic $1.2 million investment to support 3,000 BPS students identified by the district as experiencing homelessness.

BPS will also be providing lower performing schools with a wide-range of differentiated supports, which total over $16 million. This includes a new $1.25 million reserve focused on supporting low level 3, 4 and 5 schools with declining enrollment. View the BPS Operating Budget

Long-Term Financial Planning project

Efforts to tighten budget management and identify efficiencies, along with Mayor Walsh’s commitment to education funding, make possible $20M of BPS investments. While the School Committee approved a balanced budget for FY18, the District still has underlying challenges that require structural changes to allow Boston to continue to effectively invest in its students in future years.