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School Finance: Chapter 70 Program

FY19 Preliminary Chapter 70 Aid and Net School Spending Requirements

January 24, 2018

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 FY19. These estimates are based on House 1, Governor Baker's proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year. The proposal increases aid from $4,746,953,715 to $4,850,573,123, an increase of $103.6 million or 2.2 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 FY19. 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 FY19 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 85% of the gap.
  • 117 operating districts receive foundation aid to ensure that they do not fall below their foundation budgets.
  • Foundation budgets are increased by an inflation factor of 2.64 percent.
  • Enrollment decreased by 0.35 percent. Thirty-five percent of districts saw increases of as much as 16 percent. Sixty-three percent of districts saw decreases by as much as 49 percent.
  • Economically disadvantaged enrollment continues to be used in lieu of free and reduced price lunch data, which is no longer available for all districts as a result of districts' participation in the USDA's Community Eligibility Program. This measure includes those students qualifying as a match in the following programs included in the Commonwealth's direct certification system, which is maintained in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Virtual Gateway system: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid (MassHealth), and foster care. Due to an expansion of Medicaid programs being used to identify qualifying matches with foundation enrollments, the measure now aligns more closely with the criteria used for other programs administered by the Department and adds 24 thousand students to the measure statewide over FY18 levels. The decile assignment is done in the same manner as the prior year. The lowest decile rate is set at $3,619.57 and each subsequent decile increases by $40 up to the highest decile rate of $3,979.57. These levels reflect a rate reduction of $300 in response to the significant expansion of student matches towards the low income head count that existed in foundation enrollments prior to the shift to "eco dis". Consistent with the changes in rates that were made during that shift, the rate adjustment was designed to maintain the level of resources available to districts to support the education of this population.
  • The "benefits and fixed charges" rate continues to be increased, in response to the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission. This increase phases in another 11% of the total recommendation, such that an additional $72 million is invested in district foundation budgets.

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 Excel Document
Summary chart, showing foundation enrollment, foundation budget, Chapter 70 aid, and required local contributions for each school district.
Download Excel Document
Summary chart for regional school districts, showing foundation enrollment and required local contribution for each member of the district.
Download PowerPoint File
PowerPoint presentation, describing the major components of the formula.
View HTML Page
White paper, describing the major components of the formula in greater detail.
Download Excel Document
Complete formula spreadsheet, showing the detailed calculations for each municipality and district.

Questions about the Chapter 70 program should be directed to:

Rob O'Donnell
781-338-6512



Last Updated: January 24, 2018
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