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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Projected FY22 Charter School Tuition and Enrollment

The following rate projections are provided to assist Commonwealth charter schools and school districts with their budget preparations for fiscal year 2022. These estimates are based on the House Ways and Means Budget (HWM) proposal and reflect the passage in November 2019 of An Act Relative to Educational Opportunity for Students, commonly known as the Student Opportunity Act (the Act). The Act makes significant changes to the Foundation Budget Rate formula, based on the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC). The updated formula is codified in chapter 70 of the general laws.

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 at any specific school district may vary. Additionally, each sending district's tuition rate is a function of local spending and subject to change. Both districts and charter schools should allow for some margin of error when preparing their FY22 budgets.

Key points on Foundation Budget Rates:

  • These are live rates, derived from each school's October 1, 2020 SIMS enrollment.

  • Foundation budget base rates have been raised by a 1.41% inflation factor, based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's state and local government price deflator.

  • There are new, higher foundation budget rates in five areas: benefits and fixed charges, guidance and psychological services, English learners, and low income students. The rates have been increased by 1/6th of the gap between the FY21 rates and the final target rates.

  • A new employee benefits inflation rate is applied to the employee benefits and fixed charges category. This is based on the enrollment-weighted, three-year average premium increase for all Group Insurance Commission plans; for FY22 the increase is 2.78%.

  • The Act reinstates the definition of low income enrollment used prior to FY17, based on 185% of the federal poverty level. It replaces the economically disadvantaged designation (based on 133% of the federal poverty level) used from FY17 through FY20. For FY22, the low income enrollment is the higher of: (a) the number of students matched through the Department's current direct certification process (which identifies students whose families have been approved for various federal and state benefit programs); or (b) the FY16 low income percentage multiplied by current foundation enrollment.

  • The number of tiers for the low income increment rates is increased from ten to twelve; districts with higher concentrations of low income students benefit from higher rates

  • An increase to the assumed in-district special education enrollment to 4% for non-vocational students. In FY22, the in-district assumed rate has been increased by 1/6th of the gap to 3.83%.

Key points on Above Foundation Spending and Facility Rates:

  • In the absence of actual school spending data, updated third quarter FY21 Above Foundation Spending percentages have been used to generate projected rates. 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.

  • In prior fiscal years, where the FBRC's recommended Foundation Budget increases were implemented, Foundation Budgets grew faster than Net School Spending. This resulted in lower Above Foundation Spending rates for many districts. This trend could recur in FY22.

  • The Facilities Tuition rate remains the same at $938 per pupil.

Key points on Charter District Reimbursement:

  • The HWM budget funds the charter reimbursement line item at $154.6M. This appropriation is expected to meet the Act's 75% requirement, when tuition assessments are updated to reflect actual enrollments and district spending levels.

  • Facilities Tuition is fully reimbursed by the state as in prior years.

Below you will find links to workbooks housing the FY22 charter school tuition and reimbursements based on the frameworks above. These amounts will be used by the Department of Revenue in their preliminary 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, showing the underlying calculation of each district's spending percentage above their foundation budget
Download Excel Document
Low Income, showing how low income enrollment is determined
Download Excel Document
Rate Summary, provides a full list of current rates by charter, location, and sending district (chalocsend), as well as prior year rates and demographics, where available.

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

Last Updated: April 14, 2021

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

Voice: (781) 338-3000
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