Monday, February 22, 2016

Important analysis from MassBudget on low income and free lunch

Two reports came out from MassBudget last week:

  • First, there's an analysis of how direct certification--that's the process by which districts are now figuring out who is eligible for free lunch by their enrollment in other programs--is going with some suggestions on how to improve it. As we're still missing significant numbers of kids,(possibly over 100,000!) impacting not only who we feed but how we fund education as a whole, that matters. 
  • Second, take a look at their thoughts on low income counts. The Governor's budget, of course, moves every district to the new economically disadvantaged measure, and then scales the funding by the concentration of poverty in the district. There are some issues with that, and some districts in particular that are getting hit by it, and MassBudget has some suggestions on how to improve it. Do particularly take a look at their district-by-district analysis of how the various scenerios would work out; in the case of Worcester, for example, results in $11M additional dollars for FY16, were the state to use the Governor's scaling, but FY16 (scaled) low income figures.
And after you read them, share with your legislators! This has implications not only for FY17, but also for the foundation budget numbers going forward.

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