School Funding: Chaper 70 Aid

This week, we'll take a look at school finance.


While in past weeks we have tackled,and , this week we are switching gears and talking about Chapter 70 Aid.

According to the Department of Education, in Massachusetts, the definition of an adequate spending level for a school district is called its "foundation budget." It is a statistical measure that was developed by a group of superintendents and an economist in the early 1990's.

"The goal of the Chapter 70 formula is to ensure that every district has sufficient resources to meet its foundation budget spending level, through an equitable combination of local property taxes and state aid," according to the DOE.

Each district's foundation budget is updated each year to reflect inflation and changes in enrollment. 

The FY12 statewide average is $9,729 per pupil, but the range for academic districts is from $7,988 in Marion to $11,539 in Boston. Vocational districts, whose programs are more expensive, range from $13,959 to $16,975.

Locally, Lawrence's per pupil expenditure is the highest at $10,674 whereas Lexington is the least at $1,132.


Community FY '12 Foundation Enrollment
FY '12 Chap. 70 Aid FY '12 Per Pupil Andover 6,050 $6,928,057 $1,145 Billerica 5,837 $17,375,576 $2,977 Chelmsford 5,321 $9,880,853 $1,857 Dracut 4,040 $17,721,840 $4,387 Haverhill 7,582 $35,966,744 $4,744 Lawrence 13,667 $145,883,335 $10,674 Lexington 6,228 $7,051,517 $1,132 Littleton 1,582 $3,503,626 $2,215 Lowell 14,402 $121,658,718 $8,447 Methuen 7,169 $38,823,822 $5,416 North Andover 4,550 $6,124,740 $1,346 North Reading 2,609 $6,459,260 $2,476 Reading 4,284 $9,488,181 $2,215 Tewksbury 3,955 $12,317,499 $3,114 Wakefield 3,391 $4,794,886 $1,414 Westford 5,086 $15,861,400 $3,119

Data courtesy Department of Education, FY 2012

Andrew Sylvia January 26, 2012 at 01:33 AM
The point? I can tell you the point: there is no end to amount of great content on Patch, including in relation to the issue of taxes, whether it's my story, a story on tax benefits for parents in California (http://lagunaniguel.patch.com/articles/10-tax-benefits-for-parents), a new potential fuel tax mentioned in Iowa (http://johnston-ia.patch.com/articles/fuel-tax-could-be-on-the-horizon-for-iowa), or a blog on challenging property tax in New York state (http://fivetowns.patch.com/articles/property-taxes-and-what-you-can-do) Keep on reading!
Joe Veno January 26, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Well said Andrew............
Tyler Jozefowicz January 26, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Andrew: The subject is chapter 70 funding, not a panoply of tax issues. save that for another time ; otherwise this could get out of hand. Back to the subject. Chelmsford receives les per pupil funding under Chapter 70, for political reasons , not accounting reasons. Chelmsford votes Republican- McCain, Romney, Kerry-Healy, Scott Brown, Charlie Baker, etc. Beacon Hill is Democrat and notices this, ad chelmsford can't figure this out. Hello? Anyone home?
Jon Pratt January 26, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I;m surprise the Tech Schools are not included since their are fully funded rather than in district school which are restricted by local budgets
Jeff Hardy January 26, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Tyler, not sure what you are saying. We should be forced to vote Democrat in order to be treated fairly. Kind of the tail wagging the dog. Maybe if our Democratic representation treated us fairly, they would get our votes.


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