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Which Central MA Schools Receive the Most State Aid?

Monday, January 21, 2013

 

With the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) set to release the Chapter 70 state aid and required local contribution figures for FY2014 this week, GoLocal breaks down which districts in the region received the most support from Beacon Hill in FY2013.

A recent report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found that education local aid is at roughly the same level today as it was in the early 1980s, or 1.4 percent of the state economy. With the education reform act of the early 1990s, Chapter 70 aid saw a sharp increase, as a greater portion of education costs were shifted to the state level. However, the MassBudget report showed that Chapter 70 aid has declined since 2003, and local funding for education has risen back to 1993 levels.

Chapter 70 aid pays for the portion of each district's foundation budget not covered by local property taxes. The foundation budget is intended to provide schools with the minimum spending level required to provide an adequate and equitable education and takes into account the demographics and socio-economic status of the student population as well as a municipality's ability to contribute to education.

But several Worcester school officials have noted that the foundation budget formula has not had any major updates since it was first instituted in 1993, and according to Worcester Public Schools Chief Financial and Operations Officer Brian Allen, an estimated $2 billion of local contributions above required spending are allocated across the Commonwealth each year entirely through local sources.

For FY2013, the state budget included $4,171,079,892 in Chapter 70 aid, a $180 million or 4.53 percent increase over FY2012. According to the ESE, every operating school district received an increase of at least $40 per pupil over the prior year.

All calculations are based on FY2013 preliminary Chapter 70 data from the ESE's website. School districts are listed in order of Chapter 70 dollars per number of students enrolled.

 

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