Thursday, March 23, 2017

Worcester's foundation budget gaps

I'm just breaking into the FY16 end of year report to run district by district comparisons of general fund spending against foundation budgeted amounts. I did a dry run on Worcester. As noted these are general fund, so it doesn't include grants and such. It shouldn't have to, as the foundation budget is supposed to be adequate. 

Health insurance is still about a $29M gap: that means WPS is spending 193% of foundation on health insurance.

Where does it come from? If it's a Gateway, it must be the classroom, as it's the largest category in any school district budget. In FY16, Worcester was $34M short on classroom and specialist teachers.

On professional development, the district spent 45% of what the foundation budget calls for (note that this doesn't encompass all spending on professional development; WPS reported nearly another million out of grant spending. But foundation is supposed to be adequate.)

Nearly $6M short on instructional materials and technology, or 61% of foundation.

And 55% of foundation for operations and maintenance.

Worcester gets 71% of its foundation budget from the state. These numbers aren't enough to "provide an education for all its children, rich and poor, in every city and town of the Commonwealth," as McDuffy found.
We need reform. And we need it this fiscal year.

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