...not all of the SOA reforms are consistently or equitably phased in by the Governor’s proposal despite this goal being outlined in the law. One critical area that is not on track — increased support for students from low-income families through Low-Income Rates. In his FY 2021 budget proposal, the Governor only delivers on 4 percent of the progress towards the SOA target. This leaves 96 percent of the change left to be accomplished over the next six years.The Boston Globe covers this report today. The Mass Taxpayers' quote is interesting as they, as I mentioned earlier, agreed with the MassBudget analysis when they presented for the Connecticut Valley superintendents.
According to a preliminary analysis of the funding proposal, slowing the low-income rate progress down to 4 percent from 14 percent, results in a reduction in aid of $73.6 million.4 This reduces the capacity of districts educating children who are economically disadvantaged, to enhance services, expand opportunities, and promote achievement. The Commonwealth would need to increase Chapter 70 aid by $377.1 million (24 percent more than Governor Baker proposed) to phase-in low-income rate increases at an equal pace as the other components (see chart below).
The Governor’s proposal to increase low-income rates 4 percent towards the target in the first year, while leaving an average of 16 percent each year to follow, does not meet the objective of consistent implementation. This is particularly true when the other areas are moving an even 14 percent towards the goals of the SOA.
And school committees? A good thing to pay attention to and weigh in on.
PS: Worcester? It's on next week's agenda.