School Finance: Chapter 70 Program
FY17 Chapter 70 Aid and Net School Spending Requirements
July 11, 2016
On July 8, 2016, Governor Baker signed the FY17 state budget which authorizes $4,628,013,618 in Chapter 70 education aid to Massachusetts school districts. This budget increases aid by $116 million or 2.6 percent. Every operating district receives at least $55 in additional aid per student, and 101 operating districts receive increases so that they can keep pace with increases in their foundation budgets. Twenty-five operating districts receive aid to hold them harmless to changes made in low income enrollment.
Here are some of the key points about the proposal:
- The aggregate wealth model used in the formula since FY07 continues to be in effect. For municipalities with required contributions above their targets, the equity component of the formula is reduced by 85% of the gap.
- Foundation budgets are lowered by an inflation factor of -0.22 percent.
- Enrollment declined by .21 percent; forty-one percent of districts saw increases of as much as 16 percent.
- Free and reduced price lunch data is no longer available for all districts as a result of districts' participation in the USDA's Community Eligibility Program. Please refer to: Redefining Low Income - A New Metric for K-12 Education Data for more information. As a result, the foundation budget will now be calculated using economically disadvantaged enrollment in place of formerly available low income enrollment. Most districts have fewer economically disadvantaged students than they had low income students. In FY16, statewide low income enrollment was 376,810 and in FY17, statewide economically disadvantaged enrollment is 312,203.
- To offset the fiscal impact of this lower student count, the foundation budget rates were adjusted. The foundation budget rate applied to a district's economically disadvantaged students is based on a district's concentration of those students. The base economically disadvantaged rate is $3,775 and increases up to $4,135 for those districts with the highest concentration of economically disadvantaged students. As a result, this component of the foundation budget rose statewide from $1.236 billion in FY16 to $1.292 billion in FY17. Please refer to the PowerPoint presentation for more detail on the calculation.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has prepared the following materials to assist local officials in understanding the state aid calculations and local contribution requirements in this year's Chapter 70 program:
Summary chart, showing foundation enrollment, foundation budget, Chapter 70 aid, and required local contributions for each school district.
Summary chart for regional school districts, showing foundation enrollment and required local contribution for each member of the district.
Powerpoint presentation, describing the major components of the formula.
White paper, describing the major components of the formula in greater detail.
Complete formula spreadsheet, showing the detailed calculations for each municipality and district.
Questions about the Chapter 70 program should be directed to: