The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Chapter 70 Funding

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
September 7, 2018

At the September 18, 2018 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) meeting, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) staff will provide the Board with an update on FY19 Chapter 70 funding and possible additional updates to the formula that the Administration and Legislature could consider for FY20, and beyond.

On July 26, 2018, Governor Baker signed the FY19 state budget that authorizes $4,907,573,321 in Chapter 70 education aid to Massachusetts school districts. This budget increases aid by $161 million or 3.4 percent over FY18. Every operating district is receiving at least $30 in additional aid per student, and 133 operating districts are receiving increases so that they can keep pace with increases in their foundation budgets.

Here are some of the key points about this year's funding:

This past July, the Department staff were actively engaged by the legislative conference committee that was considering statutory changes to Chapter 70 in order to provide technical support and financial projections needed by the committee to inform their deliberations. Ultimately, the conferees were not able to resolve their differences, but it is clear that there is a high level of interest in exploring long-term, statutory changes to the foundation budget in areas that had been addressed at varied levels of detail by the FBRC.

During the course of this consultative work, the Department modeled the impact of four types of changes to the formula:

Given our experience at the end of the legislative session and our continuing conversations with the Administration, we anticipate that we will be asked to provide substantial support to both the legislature and the Administration as they work on their respective legislative proposals as part of their FY20 budget development process. Most immediately, DESE will be actively working with the Executive Office of Education to model the impact of various possible changes to foundation budgets and related school finance programs and provide input on any related statutory language that might be required, as needed.

I will keep you informed on developments as we work with the Board's Budget Committee this fall to prepare the Department's FY20 budget recommendations.