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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 10.00:

School Finance


  • 10.01: Authority, Scope and Purpose
  • 10.02: Definitions
  • 10.03: Accounting and Reporting: School Districts
  • 10.04: Financial Accounting and Reporting: Other Municipal Departments
  • 10.05: Documentation Requirements
  • 10.06: Annual School Spending Requirements
  • 10.07: Special Education Payments and Reimbursements
  • 10.08: Transportation Reimbursement, Resident Students
  • 10.09: Transportation Reimbursement, School Choice, Homeless and Charter School Students
  • 10.10: Audit Procedures
  • View All Sections

Most recently amended by the Board of Education: June 25, 2013.

10.02: Definitions

Chapter 70 means chapter 70 of the general laws.

Charter School means a public school operating under M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, and 603 C.M.R. 1.00. This term encompasses Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools unless otherwise specified.

Circuit Breaker means the reimbursement program for certain costs of special education as specified in M.G.L. c. 71B, § 5.

Collaborative programs means programs and services, including alternative and special education programs for students, offered by an educational collaborative established under M.G.L. c. 40, § 4E.

Department means the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, acting through the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education or his designee.

District or school district means a municipal school department or regional school district, acting through its school committee or superintendent of schools, a county agricultural school, acting through its board of trustees or superintendent/director, any other public school established by statute or charter, acting through its governing board or director.

Equipment means machines, tools, furniture, vehicles, and other non-expendable items with a useful life of more than one year and a per unit acquisition cost not less than $5000.

Extraordinary maintenance means the periodic servicing, repair or reconditioning of school buildings, grounds, or equipment to extend the useful life of an existing asset, provided that the total cost per project per school of an extraordinary maintenance project shall not exceed $150,000.

Function means the activity for which a service or material is acquired. The functions in which school districts are required to maintain and report financial data shall be identified and described in guidelines for reporting student and financial data published by the Department.

General fund receipts means funds received by a school district or municipality that are not granted or contributed to the district or municipality for a designated purpose and are not, by statute, set aside in a special account for expenditure at the discretion of the school committee.

Guidelines means detailed descriptions and reporting criteria for each of the reporting categories in which data must be reported to the Department, instructions for allocating costs and attributing expenditures in various reporting categories, and any special rules applicable to particular reporting categories. The Department shall publish guidelines for reporting student and financial data after consultation with school and municipal officials, and shall, whenever possible, include in the guidelines advance notice of any anticipated changes in reporting which may necessitate a change in school district or municipal record keeping systems or practices.

Homeless Student means a student who is homeless as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act's, definition of "homeless children and youth," 42 USC 11434(a)(2).

Homeless Student Transportation means transportation of a homeless student to and from the student's school of origin that is located outside of the boundaries of the school district in which the homeless student temporarily resides. For purposes of homeless student transportation, school of origin shall mean the school where the homeless student was last enrolled or the school attended when the student was permanently housed.

Low income student means a student enrolled for full time attendance in a public school who is eligible for free or reduced cost lunches under eligibility guidelines set by the federal government under 42 USC 1758.

Materials means non-expendable and expendable items with a useful life of less than one year or a unit acquisition cost under $5000.

Membership means the number of days a pupil is enrolled, divided by the number of days in the school year. The Department may apportion a pupil's membership across the various programs in which the pupil participated.

Object means the service or commodity obtained as a result of a specific expenditure. The object classifications in which school districts are required to maintain and report financial data shall be identified and described in guidelines published by the Department.

Program means a plan of activities and procedures designed to accomplish a predetermined objective or set of objectives. The program classifications for which school districts are required to maintain and report financial data are identified at 603 CMR 10.03(3), and shall be described in guidelines published by the Department.

Pupil means student.

Reimbursement means funds received by a school district or municipality from the state or federal government or from a private insurer as partial or total repayment of a cost incurred by the district or municipality to provide a particular education related service to a particular student or students, but not including any amounts which are included in the state school aid which a district or municipality receives under M.G.L. c. 70.

Reporting Requirements/Reports means data required by the Department to determine compliance, calculate tuition payments, aid or reimbursements or meet state or federal mandates. Required data shall be maintained in accordance with 603 CMR 10.00 and Department guidelines and provided to the Department in a form or through an electronic data transfer method established by the Department.

School Choice means a program that allows a parent to enroll his or her child in a school district that is not the child's home district. Every year the school committee in each school district decides whether it will accept new enrollments under this program and, if so, in what grades.

Specialized transportation means a modified transportation service not normally provided for regular day students, designed to meet the special needs of a student for whom an individualized educational plan has been developed in accordance with M.G.L. c. 71B, § 14, and 603 CMR 28.00.

Student means a person enrolled for full time attendance in the preschool through grade 14 educational programs operated by a public school, educational collaborative, or approved private school.

Certain other words and phrases used in 603 CMR 10.00 are defined at M.G.L. c. 70, § 2, and have those meanings.

For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.

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