Massachusetts Charter Schools

Projected FY20 Charter School Tuition and Enrollment

Below you will find links to FY20 tuition and enrollment projections for charter schools and sending districts. It is our hope that this information will assist in the FY20 budget process for charter schools, school districts, and municipalities.

It is important to note some caveats that may affect the accuracy of these projections. While actual enrollment cannot exceed the projection reported by a given charter, enrollment by individual sending school districts may vary.

Additionally, each sending district's tuition rate is a function of local spending and subject to change. At many districts FY19 Foundation Budgets grew faster than Net School Spending due to the implementation of the Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommended changes to the Foundation Budget. This resulted in lower Above Foundation Spending rates. This trend could continue in FY20. Both districts and charter schools should allow for some margin of error when preparing their FY20 budgets.

At the time of publication, the House Ways and Mean's (HWM) budget proposal has appropriated $113,000,000 for the Charter Aid program.

Key points on Foundation Budget Rates

  • These are live rates, derived from each school's October 1, 2018 SIMS enrollment.

  • Foundation budgets have been raised by a 3.75 percent inflation factor.

  • Highlights of the HWM Foundation Budget recommendations:

    • When compared to the Foundation Budget rate projections posted on January 28, 2019, the average rate change is approximately $52.

    • The Pathways vocational and high needs rate components, featured in the Governor's Foundation Budget proposal, have been removed.

    • ELL enrollment is sourced from October 1 SIMS. ELL pupils that passed the ACCESS for ELLs test, previously excluded in the Governor's proposal, are included in the ELL count. The HWM maintains the increases made to ELL foundation base rates in the Governor's proposal. The effect on individual rates is proportional to the number of reinstated ELL pupils.

    • Economically disadvantaged enrollment continues to be used in lieu of free and reduced price lunch data, which is no longer available for all schools as a result of school participation in the USDA's Community Eligibility Program.

    • Minimal, positive rate changes to the Benefits and Fixed Charges base rates. Maintains a 6-year phase-in of increases, sourced from new goal rates derived from Group Insurance Commission (GIC) data.

Key points on the HWM Charter District Aid

  • Charter district aid is funded at $113 million, a $23 million increase over FY19 and a $7 Million increase over the Governor's proposal.

  • Incorporates the Governor's proposal to return to a three year, 100%/60%/40% schedule for transitional aid. Funding provides 76% of the entitlement.

  • Incorporates the Governor's proposal to provide supplemental aid to districts with high charter tuition costs and relatively low Chapter 70 aid, to ensure a minimum level of state support for charter tuition. Funding covers 50% of the entitlement.

Key points on Above Foundation Spending Rates

  • In the absence of actual school spending data, third quarter FY19 Above Foundation Spending percentages have been used to generate projected rates.

  • FY19 Foundation Budgets grew faster than Net School Spending because of the implementation of the Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommended increases to the Foundation Budget. This resulted in lower Above Foundation Spending rates for many districts. This trend could continue in FY20.

  • Actual rates may be lower or higher than those presented. Actual Above Foundation Spending rates fluctuate until they are set in June of the fiscal year they represent.

Key points on the Facility Rate

  • The HWM recommendations incorporate the Governor's proposal for a $938 per pupil Facilities Rate, which represents a five percent increase over FY19.

  • The rate has been unchanged since FY09.

Below you will find the most recent calculation of projected FY20 charter school tuition and reimbursements based on this proposed framework. These amounts have been used by the Department of Revenue in their April cherry sheet estimates.

Download Excel Document
Sending District Summary, showing enrollment, tuition, and aid
Download Excel Document
Charter School Summary, showing enrollment and tuition
Download Excel Document
Foundation Budgets, showing foundation enrollments and budgets, as well as their underlying calculations
Download Excel Document
Above Foundation Spending
Download Excel Document
Rate Summary, providing a list of current rates by charter, location, and sending district (chalocsend), as well as prior year rates and demographics, where available.
Download Excel Document
Estimate of FTE Remaining Under the NSS Cap

Questions about the charter tuition program should be addressed to Hadley Cabral in the Office of District and School Finance at (781) 338-6586 or

Contact Us

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

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


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.