Tuesday, February 5, 2019

DESE update on FY20 at MASBO

Rob O'Donnell, DESE
preliminary FY20 Ch. 70 is $5.1B, a $200.3M increase (4.1% ) FY19
"dispel some of the confusion, there are two things to keep track of" both the budget and the bill
targets for changes to foundation over next 7 years
bill moving on a separate track, but reflects what is in the budget

Gov's bill incorporates rate changes in statutory language
also codifies how local contribution rates have been calculations usually just covered in Section 3
large sections of MGL Ch. 70 that are no longer in effect; rewrite would bring up to current practice
Gov's finance bill would:

  • sets goal of 3x statewide foundation budget per pupil for out of district sped
  • GIC goal; every year goal rates would be updated
  • "expansion" of economically disadvantaged
  • introduces a high need concentration increment
  • early colleege and innovation rate
  • counting "only those students who are actually low English proficient" 
  • in FY21, would phase in goal of increase for guidance and psych rate
  • in FY26, raise assumed in-district sped enrollment to 4%
"as a seven year phase in, there will be inflation in each year"
bill and budget are expressed in FY20 terms
Q: $1.1B?
A: impact not accounting for inflation
Q: what about the 5% increase for vokes in FBRC?
A: did a number of research and analysis for bills
"in our own research...while rates are higher, the levels of needs are lower, and much more consistent with the 4.75% already in the calculation"
note that this would mean that the Governor's bill does not actually address all parts of the Foundation Budget Review Commission's recommendations

English learners are advantaged towards upper grades
high needs increment: economically disadvantaged students are all counted in high needs 
minimum aid set at $20/pupil

in aggregate wealth model, municipalities above target reduced by 100% of the gap in Gov's budget
cities and towns with combined effort yield greater than 175% of foundation have required local contributions set at not less than 82.5%
"saved substantial funding there for greater need"

charter school reimbursement return to 100/60/40
now being called "transitional aid" and more closely tied to enrollment growth over five years
supplemental aid being added for districts with high charter tuition costs and relatively low Ch.70 (this impacts three districts; Boston is one...guessing Cambridge and...Martha's Vineyard? Maybe? UPDATE: I was right on Boston and Martha's Vineyard!
$16M increase over FY19 will intent of full funding by FY22
facilities tuition rate is increased to $938/pupil in FY20 and indexed to inflation; facilties tuition continues to be reimbursed (hasn't increased in some time)
and all of the above is reflected in the Governor's budget (even that which is expressed in the Gov's funding bill, not the budget)

Brian Allen asks which communities are getting supplemental aid (I believe he said "besides Boston" and see above on Martha's Vineyard)
how much Boston is getting in hold harmless aid: (they didn't know offhand; the answer is $63.4M, which actually a little lower than previously)
and a request for at least some workbooks updated for House and Senate, even as that isn't usual practice, for clarity in explaining to those to whom one might need to explain (YES PLEASE)

Jay Sullivan: have been contacted by DEP about lead in drinking water; new program to assist districts to test as well as fix fixtures
early projections, given what the Gov's provided, 70% reimbursement
"if you give me enough for 70%, I'll publish 68%"
understand what pushing foundation budget up will do to circuit breaker: "some of those kids who just barely qualified" may not anymore
regional transportation, the Gov level funded: 72% reimbursement rate
"believe it or not, I'm still waiting for one End of Year report from one district...they're not getting their Ch.70 for two months" (wonder if their school committee knows)
"This is going to be a very interesting year" to see what happens
thinks asking for addition workbooks "is an excellent question"
"be as transparent as possible...it's going to be important for you folks to key in on that"
conference call for that version of Ch.70 in the budget
McKinney-Vento reimbursement level funded; foster care used to be considered homeless, but it is no longer; projected at 37%
non-resident: $250K a 6.4% reimbursement rate

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