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School Finance: Chapter 70 Program

FY15 Preliminary Chapter 70 Aid and Net School Spending Requirements

January 22, 2014

Pursuant to section 6 of chapter 70 of the General Laws, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education is issuing the preliminary estimates of Chapter 70 school aid and net school spending requirements for FY15. These estimates are based on House 2, Governor Patrick's proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year. The proposal increases aid from $4,301,214,591 billion to $4,400,696,187 billion, an increase of $99.5 million or 2.3 percent.

These are preliminary estimates subject to change as the House and Senate deliberate on the budget. Our purpose in providing these estimates at this time is to assist cities, towns and regional school districts in their budget preparations for FY15. We advise you to construct your local budgets with sufficient flexibility to accommodate the changes that typically occur in the state budget process. The Commissioner will issue the final, official school spending requirements as soon as the Governor and Legislature approve either the FY15 state budget or an earlier local aid resolution.

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 50% of the gap.
  • 59 operating districts receive foundation aid to ensure that they do not fall below their foundation budgets.
  • 94 operating districts receive downpayment aid to bring them closer to their target aid share.
  • 201 operating districts receive minimum per pupil aid to ensure that they receive an increase of at least $25 per pupil over FY14.
  • Foundation budgets are raised by an inflation factor of 0.86 percent.
  • Enrollment grew by .3 percent; forty-one percent of districts saw increases of as much as 18 percent.
  • The cap on regular education pre-kindergarten enrollment, previously at twice the number of special education pre-kindergarten enrollment, is lifted. Districts can now count all enrolled pre-kindergarten students provided they do not pay tuition.
  • Acton and Boxborough fully merge into one K-12 district, where previously they had been regionalized at the 7-12 level.
  • Essex Agricultural Technical merges with North Shore Regional Vocational to form a new regional vocational district. Peabody joins as a member.

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:

Download MS EXCEL file
Summary chart, showing foundation enrollment, foundation budget, Chapter 70 aid, and required local contributions for each school district.
Download MS EXCEL file
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.
View HTML Page
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:

Melissa Kingmking@doe.mass.edu781-338-6532
Roger Hatchrhatch@doe.mass.edu781-338-6527


Last Updated: February 10, 2014
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