Monday, October 31, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "ed reform money reaching poorer districts"

"THE LOW-INCOME, HEAVILY IMMIGRANT city of Chelsea is getting over $2,600 per pupil more in state education aid than it did two years ago. That translates to nearly $19 million in additional funds each year going into the district’s $118 million budget.  

Mary Bourque, a former Chelsea superintendent and now director of government affairs for the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, called that a prime illustration that the Student Opportunity Act, a landmark rewrite of the state’s public education funding formula, is working. 

“It is benefiting those who were intended to benefit,” Bourque said. 

Passage of the law in 2019 came after years of complaints that the state education funding formula was not keeping pace with actual costs of providing an adequate education. The original formula, established through the Education Reform Act of 1993, was designed to help equalize education funding by steering more state aid to poorer communities, but critics say those districts were increasingly struggling to meet the rising costs of educating low-income students, English learners, and special education students. The revamp of the funding formula boosted state aid for all three categories of students as well as for the increasing costs of employee health care.  "
Continue reading the overall assessment of the Student Opportunity Act

Franklin is one of the "minimum aid" for two reasons; one, it is receiving more than the current calculation says it should. The overage amount is second only to Boston. As the local (Franklin taxpayer portion) of Net School Spending increases to the maximum, at that time, Franklin could see increase in benefits. Two, the second reason that Franklin gets minimum aid is due to its declining enrollment. We peaked at 6100 students in 2010 and have dropped to 4710 (as of the Oct 1, 2022 enrollment report).

The Oct 1, 2022 enrollment report as shared with the School Committee 10/25/22

Additional info on the FY 23 school budget can be found online

CommonWealth Magazine: "ed reform money reaching poorer districts"
CommonWealth Magazine: "ed reform money reaching poorer districts"

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