Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Chanthy Lopes

Boston, MA — In response to the Healey Driscoll administration’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget, Jennie Williamson, State Director of EdTrust in Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

Our state budget is more than just a financial blueprint — it’s a profound reflection of our values, serving as a compass as we address the state’s most pressing issues. In the face of a precarious fiscal cliff, we are incredibly relieved to see that the Governor’s budget proposal of $56.1 billion not only safeguards the essential educational investments made in recent years, but, in some instances, expands resources for education programs and equity initiatives that prioritize our state’s underserved students.

Early Childhood Education and Care 

We applaud the Healey-Driscoll administration for prioritizing investments in early education and care, including launching a new “Gateway to Pre-K” initiative to ensure all 4-year-olds in Gateway Cities have universal access to high-quality preschool programs by 2026. This initiative includes increasing Child Fare Financial Assistance (CCFA) eligibility to ensure more low and moderate-income families can afford child care, and a continued investment in the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grant program, which provides stable funding for programs to improve the quality of child care. Additionally, the Governor included $75 million to increase child-care affordability by reducing the waitlist for income-eligible early education and care programs and $65 million for rate increases to further increase reimbursement rates for subsidized early education and child-care providers.

K-12 Education

As districts across the state prepare to make tough budgetary decisions ahead of Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) funds drying up, Governor Healeys’ budget continues to support K-12 education by fully funding the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) which will be necessary to help our highest-need districts sustain investments and continue striving to meet students’ growing needs. The budget also continues to fully fund Universal Free School Meals, a critical program that ensures all kids have access to nutritious school meals.

We are especially thrilled that her proposal seeks to address one of the most urgent education equity issues facing our state: the literacy crisis. Today, less than half of all Massachusetts students in grades 3-8 are reading at proficiency, with outcomes being especially concerning for underserved students. The Governor’s new “Literacy Launch” initiative aims to address this crisis by providing $30 million in funding to ensure all students in the Commonwealth have equitable access to high-quality, evidence-based reading instruction.

Postsecondary Education

Our state has undoubtedly made strides in expanding access and affordability to college opportunities in the last few years. We are especially grateful for the Governor’s leadership in sustaining the historic expansion of financial aid, which will reduce out-of-pocket costs for students from low-income backgrounds. Additionally, we are thrilled that the budget continues to support the MassReconnect program, which provides free community college for students ages 25 and older. The Governor also reaffirms the administration’s commitment to early college programs, which have offered transformative opportunities that enhance college and career success for over 6,000 Massachusetts students across the state including a significant number of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds who often face barriers to accessing these college opportunities. This investment will allow the state to sustain this opportunity for students across Massachusetts.

While Governor Healey’s budget is an important step forward for students, we recognize significant work lies ahead. EdTrust-MA, alongside many other community leaders and advocates across the state, including The Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership (MEEP), stands ready to support the Healey-Driscoll administration and legislative leaders as they continue laying the groundwork in the state budget to ensure every child, from P-16, has equitable access to the necessary supports and resources to succeed and thrive.

Jennie Williamson is available for further comment if needed. Please contact Chanthy Lopes at

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About EdTrust: EdTrust is committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system. Through our research and advocacy, EdTrust improves equity in education from preschool through college, engages diverse communities dedicated to educational equity and justice, and increases political and public will to build an education system where students will thrive.