January 27, 2016
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 FY17. These estimates are based on House 2, Governor Baker's proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year. The proposal increases aid from $4,511,882,199 to $4,584,008,961, an increase of $72 million or 1.6 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 FY17. 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 FY17 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 70% of the gap.
78 operating districts receive foundation aid to ensure that they do not fall below their foundation budgets.
Foundation budgets are lowered by an inflation factor of -0.22 percent.
Enrollment declined by .21 percent; forty-one percent of districts saw increases of as much as 16 percent.
Free and reduced price lunch data is no longer available for all districts as a result of districts' participation in the USDA's Community Eligibility Program. Please refer to: Redefining Low Income - A New Metric for K-12 Education Data for more information. As a result, the foundation budget will now be calculated using economically disadvantaged enrollment in place of formerly available low income enrollment. Most districts have fewer economically disadvantaged students than they had low income students. In FY16, statewide low income enrollment was 376,810 and in FY17, statewide economically disadvantaged enrollment is 312,203.
To offset the fiscal impact of this lower student count, the foundation budget rates were adjusted. The foundation budget rate applied to a district's economically disadvantaged students is based on a district's concentration of those students. The base economically disadvantaged rate is $3,775 and increases up to $4,135 for those districts with the highest concentration of economically disadvantaged students. As a result, this component of the foundation budget rose statewide from $1.236 billion in FY16 to $1.292 billion in FY17. Please refer to the PowerPoint presentation for more detail on the calculation.
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:
Questions about the Chapter 70 program should be directed to:
Last Updated: January 27, 2016
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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