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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Projected FY24 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 2024. 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 FY24 budgets.

Key Points on Foundation Budget Rates:

  • The HWM budget recommendations make no change to the Governor's proposed foundation budget rates, special education percent increment change, or inflation factor.
  • These are live rates, derived from each school's October 1, 2022 SIMS enrollment.
  • Foundation budget base rates have been raised by a capped, 4.5% inflation factor.
  • Full detail and explanations on the Governor's changes to the foundation budget are available at FY2024 Preliminary 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 over a seven-year period.
    • 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 4.51%.
    • The Act increases the assumed in-district special education enrollment to 3.9% for non-vocational students. This is being phased in over several years. The factor used in FY2023 is 3.83%, a change from 3.79% in FY2022.

Key Points on Above Foundation Spending and Facility Rates:

  • In the absence of actual school spending data, updated third quarter FY23 Above Foundation Spending percentages have been used to generate projected above foundation spending 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 may recur in FY24.
  • The HWM budget level funds the Facilities Rate at $1,088 per pupil.

Key Points on Charter District Reimbursement:

  • The HWM budget funds the charter reimbursement line item at $230.3M. This appropriation is lower than the Governor's proposal and covers 95% of the projected entitlement.
  • Facilities Tuition is fully reimbursed, as in prior years.

Below, you will find links to workbooks housing the FY24 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.

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 20, 2023

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