BRIDGE BRIEFING: Mitt Romney & K-12 Education

Romney Believes Smaller Class Sizes Are Harmful

Romney Thought Efforts To Reduce Classroom Size “May Actually Hurt Education More Than It Helps.” According to his book “No Apology” Romney wrote, “In The United States, then, the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps.” [Romney, No Apology, Pg. 216]

ROMNEY WANTED TO CUT FUNDING FOR SMALLER CLASSES

Romney Proposed Cutting $18 Million In Funding For Class Size Reduction. According to the Boston Globe, “The administration also proposed cutting an $18 million program that year to reduce class sizes a plan the Legislature ultimately backed. State spending on grants and scholarships for college students fell from $105 million in fiscal 2000 to $82 million last year.” [Boston Globe, 8/10/06]

Romney’s Budget Cuts Included Cuts To Class Size Reduction, Early Literacy, And Full-Day Kindergarten. According to the Boston Globe, “As a trade-off, however, several other sources of state money were eliminated and rolled into Chapter 70 – including $3.8 million for class size reduction, all charter school reimbursement, and $9.4 million for pupil transportation. Grant money for many programs was also eliminated, including funding for early literacy and expansion of full-day kindergarten, school officials said.” [Boston Globe, 2/27/03]

Romney Cut Funding For Early Education, Literacy Programs And Head Start

Romney Vetoed A Universal Pre-Kindergarten Bill And “Questioned The Benefits” Of Early Education. According to the Telegram and Gazette, “State legislators are hopeful that the universal pre-kindergarten bill former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed last year will become law now that Democrat Gov. Deval L. Patrick is in the executive office… Both legislative branches passed the bill in August, but Mr. Romney blocked it, saying it would be too expensive. He also questioned the benefits of early education.” [Telegram And Gazette, 2/2/07]

Romney’s Proposed Eliminating Early Literacy Programs And Full Day Kindergarten. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “Balancing this modest increase is a substantial cut to other K-12 education spending, including the elimination of early literacy, full-day kindergarten, and class size reduction programs, a steep cut in funding for regional school transportation, and the transfer (without adequate funding) of the state’s early education program for three to five year olds. Combined with the cuts to non-education local aid discussed above, which will put heavy pressure on local government budgets, it is clear that the progress made since the passage of Education Reform in 1993 will be gravely threatened.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 3/5/03]

ROMNEY CUT FUNDING FOR EARLY LITERACY

Romney Proposed A Budget Eliminating Early Literacy Programs. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “Balancing this modest increase is a substantial cut to other K-12 education spending, including the elimination of early literacy, full-day kindergarten, and class size reduction programs, a steep cut in funding for regional school transportation, and the transfer (without adequate funding) of the state’s early education program for three to five year olds. Combined with the cuts to non-education local aid discussed above, which will put heavy pressure on local government budgets, it is clear that the progress made since the passage of Education Reform in 1993 will be gravely threatened.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 3/5/03]

Romney Cut $50,000 From Early Literacy Grants. According to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “The Governor also reduced items that were initially vetoed in the FY 2007 Conference budget, but were ultimately overridden by the Legislature, including $200,000 from the budget for Adult Basic Education and $50,000 from early literacy grants.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 12/13/06]

ROMNEY CUT FUNDING FOR HEAD START

Romney Cut The Head Start Program By $1 Million. According to Romney’s veto statement, House No. 5150 of 2006, “Grants to Head Start Programs 3000-5000 Reduce 1,000,000 [to] 7,500,000… I am reducing this item to the amount projected to be necessary.” [House No. 5150 of 2006, 7/8/06]

Romney Cut Grants To Head Start By $1.3 Million. According to Romney’s veto statement, House No. 4230 of 2005, “Grants to Head Start Programs 3000-5000 Reduce [by] 1,353,857 [to] 6,146,143… I am reducing this item to an amount consistent with my House 1 recommendation.” [House No. 4230 of 2005, 6/30/05]

Romney Cut Funding For Special Education

Romneys Budget Cut Included Cutting $2.3 Million In Special Education Money. According to the Gloucester Daily Times, “The state Department of Education informed the Gloucester School Department yesterday that Gov. Mitt Romney’s reduction of $451 million in the state budget this month included $2.3 million in special education money, some of which the city expected to receive. The $2.3 million is from the Circuit Breaker program, which reimburses school districts for large increases in special education costs. Gloucester has received more than $600,000 each year for the past several years and expected to see an increase over last year’s allotment to more than $700,000.” [Gloucester Daily Times, 11/30/06]

Romney Vetoed $6.5 Million For Special Education Residential Schools. According to Romney’s veto statement, House No. 4005 of 2003, “Special Ed Residential Schools 7061-0012 Reduce/Strike Wording 6,500,000 [Reduced to] 115,100,262… I am striking language which earmarks funding for a program because it inappropriately imposes Legislative controls on Executive Branch management decisions, and I am reducing this item to an amount consistent with my House 1 recommendation.” [House No. 4005 of 2003, 6/30/03]