The new School Choice Rosters and Claim Forms application is now available in the School Finance Section on the ESE Security Portal. We will be using this new application to publish preliminary school choice rosters in the winter, process school choice claims in the spring, and publish final rosters in June at the end of the fiscal year. This application will streamline the school choice claiming process for districts by identifying students who were coded as school choice in the October and March SIMS collections. It also replaces the Excel-based rosters and claim forms with web-based forms, which will make it easier for districts to manage and update their data and allow the Department to implement stronger business rules to ensure accuracy of reporting. It is important to note that for now the Special Education Increment Form that is part of the Spring Claim Forms will continue to be an Excel-based form, but will be submitted through the School Choice Rosters and Claim Forms Application.
The Department releases aggregate school choice tuitions for sending and receiving districts twice a year, first in December based on the Winter Rosters and again in June based on the Final Rosters. The posted tuition amounts include adjustments to the prior year's calculations as well as special education increments and transportation costs.
On or before the last day of each month, the state treasurer assesses approximately one twelfth of each school district's annual school choice tuition charges and pays one twelfth of the annual tuition receipts as part of the monthly local aid distribution. Since the annual estimates may change during the year to reflect current enrollments and special education increments and transportation, the monthly calculations will reflect these changes. These tuition amounts can be found on the monthly local aid distribution under School Choice Receiving Tuition and School Choice Sending Tuition.
The School Choice Rosters and Claim Forms application contains student-level data and data elements obtained from SIMS. This information is used as the basis for calculating school choice payments (for receiving districts) and assessments (for sending districts) in the monthly local aid distribution each fiscal year.
Districts should review their school choice sending and receiving rosters after each school choice update, including the Winter Rosters (based on October, 1 SIMS) and the Final Rosters (based on March SIMS and final claim form submissions in April) to verify the accuracy of the data. If any edits are needed, district users can click "Request Edit(s)" at the top of the roster form on the School Choice Rosters and Claim Forms Application to request changes. A school finance staff member will respond to your request within 2 business days. Please note, if you have multiple edits, you only need to submit one request.
In April, receiving districts are required to submit Spring Claim Forms, which will be populated with October and March SIMS, to finalize tuition payments for the fiscal year. This includes completing a separate Special Education Increment Form (Excel form) to claim instructional and transportation costs for special education students and updating start and/or end dates for students who are not enrolled as school choice students for the entire school year. The Department publishes Final Rosters, including receiving and sending rosters, based on the Spring Claim Forms in June of each fiscal year. The timeline is summarized below.
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Winter Rosters Guide
Last Updated: January 4, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
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