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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Projected FY2024 Charter School Tuition and Enrollment

August 2023

Below are links to the FY2024 tuition and enrollment projections for charter schools and sending districts. 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 by individual sending school districts may vary. Additionally, each sending district's tuition rate is a function of local spending and subject to change.

These projections are based on the final FY2024 state budget and reflect the continued implementation of the Student Opportunity Act (An Act Relative to Educational Opportunity for Students). 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.

Key Points on Foundation Budget Rates:

  • Foundation budget base rates have been raised by a capped, 4.5% inflation factor.
  • Full detail and explanations on the changes to the foundation budget are available at FY2024 Chapter 70 Aid and Net School Spending Requirements. Some highlights:

    • The Act establishes new, higher foundation budget rates in five areas: benefits and fixed charges, guidance and psychological services, special education out of district tuition, English learners, and low-income students, all to be phased in by fiscal year 2027.
    • 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 FY2024 the increase is 5.16%.
    • The Act reinstates the definition of low-income enrollment used prior to FY2017, based on 185% of the federal poverty level. It replaces the economically disadvantaged designation (based on 133% of the federal poverty level) used from FY2017 through FY2022. For FY2024, a district's low-income enrollment is based on three eligibility categories:

      • Students identified as participating in state public assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), MassHealth, and foster care; or
      • Students certified as low income through the new supplemental data collection process; or
      • Students reported by a district as homeless through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance program application.

    • The Act also increases the assumed in-district special education enrollment to 4% for non-vocational students. In FY2024, this assumed rate has been increased by 3/6ths (or one half) of the gap from 3.90%.

Key Points on Above Foundation Spending and Facility Rates:

  • In the absence of FY2024 school spending data, the Above Foundation Spending Percentage from the prior fiscal year is used to determine Above Foundation Spending district rates at each charter school campus.
  • The GAA increases the Facilities Rate from $1,088 to $1,188 per pupil.

Key Points on Charter District Reimbursement:

  • The GAA funds the charter reimbursement line item at $232.7M. This appropriation exceeds the Governor's.
  • Facilities Tuition is fully reimbursed, as in prior years.

Below you will find MS Excel spreadsheets with the most recent calculation of FY2024 charter school tuition and reimbursements. These amounts will be used by the Department of Revenue in their cherry sheet estimates.


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 Hadley.B.Cabral@mass.gov .

Last Updated: August 10, 2023

 
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