Massachusetts Charter Schools

Calculation and Disbursement of Commonwealth Charter School Tuition
(Revised: October 2019)

The following is an example of how charter tuition payments are calculated and disbursed for a fictitious Commonwealth charter school over the course of a state fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to the following June 30.

 Charter School EnrollmentTuition RateTotal Annual TuitionMonthly Payments
July 31–November 30 Payments

In March, the ABC Charter School, located in Athens, Massachusetts, reported a projected enrollment of 90 students for the upcoming school year on its Pre-Enrollment Report filed with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Department (DESE)

Forty of these students reside in the Athens Public School District. The remaining 50 students reside in the Olympia School District.

In April, DESE's Office of District and School Finance (ODSF) calculates projected charter tuition rates for ABC Charter School for students coming from Athens ($13,750) and Olympia ($14,000).

Updates to the projected rates are made over the summer, if applicable.

Projected tuition rates are multiplied by the number of students from each district, as reported on the Pre-Enrollment Report, to calculate a projected annual tuition amount for ABC Charter School of $1,250,000 ($13,750×40 students for Athens and $14,000×50 for Olympia).

July 31–November 30, the ABC Charter Schools receives its first five monthly payments, equal to one twelfth of the projected annual tuition payment ($1,250,000 ÷ 12 = $104,166.67).

The school receives a total of $520,833.33 for the first five months*.

* Charter tuition is assessed against sending district Chapter 70 aid beginning with the July distribution

December 31–February 28 Payments

All public schools submit a detailed enrollment report annually to DESE's via the Student Information Management System (SIMS). This enrollment, known as October 1 SIMS, is certified around the first week of December.

ABC Charter school reports 90 students on their October 1, SIMS; 42 from the Athens School District and 48 from the Olympia School District.

Using information from SIMS, as well as data collected from sending school districts, via the End of Year Financial Report (EOYR), DESE calculates preliminary tuition rates for ABC Charter School students coming from Athens and Olympia. Athens preliminary rate turns out to be higher than projected, at $14,250; Olympia's preliminary rate is lower than projected, at $13,500.

Using these new rates and the charter school's October enrollment, DESE informs the ABC Charter School and its sending districts of the revised preliminary annual tuition amount of $1,246,500 ($14,250×42 students for Athens and $13,500×48 students for Olympia.)

For the December 31 through February 28 tuition payment, the ABC Charter School receives this preliminary annual tuition payment, minus what was paid in the first five months, divided by seven.

Therefore, the sixth-eighth payments for the ABC Charter School equal $103,666.67 per month or $311,000 total for three months ($1,246,500−$520,833.33=$725,666.67; $725,666.67 ÷ 7= $103,666.67 × 3).

The school has now received a total of $831,833.33.

March 31–May 31 Payments

While charter schools do report updated enrollment in March, on the February 15 Charter School Claim Form, the collection isn't fully analyzed until early June. Therefore, the October SIMS enrollment of 90 students; 42 from the Athens School District and 48 from the Olympia School District, is used during this quarter.

Where indicated, DESE updates preliminary tuition rates based on amendments to the EOYR submitted by sending districts.

DESE updates the preliminary annual tuition amount for ABC Charter School based on amendments to the EOYR submitted by sending districts.

Between Mar 31 and May 31, the ABC Charter School continues to receive $103.666.67 as its ninth-eleventh monthly payments, equal to the preliminary (revised, if applicable) annual tuition payment minus what was paid in the first eight months, divided by four.

The school has now received a total of $1,142,833.34.

June 30

In March, the ABC Charter School submits an updated enrollment report (February 15 Charter School Claim Form) that reflects changes in enrollment as of February 15th.

On its February Charter School Claim Form, the ABC Charter School reported an enrollment of 90 students, 42 from the Athens and 48 from Olympia. DESE used this data to calculate full time equivalency (FTE) enrollment by dividing the number of days a student was enrolled in the school by the total number of school days.

At the ABC Charter School, two students residing in Athens left after attending school for 90 days. The ABC Charter School has a 180-day school year; therefore, each student is counted as 0.5 FTE (90 ÷ 180 = 0.5). All the other students are enrolled for the full school year. Hence, the final FTE for the ABC Charter School is 89 (41 FTE from Athens and 48 FTE from Olympia).

The final tuition rate remains $14,250 for the Athens School District because their data as submitted in their EOYR remained unchanged. Olympia's rate rises to $13,750 because of an amendment to its EOYR data.

Given the slight decrease in ABC Charter School's enrollment and changes to the tuition rates, the payment to the ABC Charter School is adjusted once again.

Therefore, the final annual tuition payment is $1,244,250 ($14,250×41 students from Athens and $13,750×48 students from Olympia).

On June 30, the ABC Charter School receives its twelfth and final monthly payment of $101,416.66 ($1,244,250 − $1,142,833.34).

The school has now received a total of $1,244,250 for the fiscal year*.

* No adjustments are made to final tuition calculations or the enrollment data provided in the February 15 Claim Form based on new admissions or withdrawals after February 15, barring error or request by the sending district or the charter school.


For more detailed information, contact Joanna Laghetto in the Office of Charter School Office at (781) 338-3221 or jlaghetto@doe.mass.edu or Hadley Cabral in the Office of District and School Finance at (781) 338-6586 or hcabral@doe.mass.edu. More information about charter school finance.

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

Directions

Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.