School Funding: Chaper 70 Aid

This week's chart will focus on school finances.

Last week several questions came up surrounding Chapter 70 aid to local school districts.

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, Lynn has the highest cost per pupil at $8,380 while the lowest is in Danvers at $1,154.


FY '12 Ch. 70 Foundation Enrollment FY '12 Ch. 70 Aid FY '12 Per Child Beverly 4,236 $6,730,266 $1,589 Boxford 771 $1,534,312 $1,990 Danvers 3,698 $4,269,013 $1,154 Georgetown 1,571 $5,095,019 $3,243 Hamilton-Wenham 1,822 $3,252,691 $1,785 Ipswich 1,941 $2,559,500 $1,319 Lynnfield 2,231 $3,799,686 $1,703 Lynn 14,106 $118,211,280 $8,380


1,401 $2,106,931 $1,504 Marblehead 3,238 $4,548,961 $1,405 Middleton 729 $1,483,356 $2,035 Nahant 358 $440,741 $1,231 Peabody 6,178 $18,663,598 $3,021 Salem 4,869 $18,522,267 $3,804 Saugus 2,821 $3,888,392 $1,378 Swampscott 2,149 $2,564,463 $1,193 Topsfield 590 $1,025,939 $1,739

Data courtesy Department of Education, FY 2012.

Uncle Leo January 25, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Man, Marblehead certainly has friends in high places. Not sure how that town gets so much state aid + higher Chapter 70 funding than towns like Swampscott, Danvers, Nahant, and Saugus. Must be nice...
David Whelan January 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Swampscott Median Property Value-$335,500 Median Household Income-$71,089 Chapter 70 per pupil-$1,193 Marblehead Median Property Value-$463,000 Median Household Income-$73,968 Chapter 70 per pupil-$1,405 Wellesley Median Property Value-$843,600 Median Household Income-$113,686 Chapter 70 per pupil-$1,465 Lori Ehrlich's bill to rectify (in part) the inequities of chapter 70: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H03538 The inequity addressed in Rep Ehrlich's bill is worth about $700,000 per year. $700,000 in lost local aid translates into higher real estate tax bills and/or lost services. Data is per zillow.com and the DESE. The Governor's budget, released today, increases Swampscott's chapter 70 funding by $9,000. The 5 year phase in to 17.5% of foundation, is now going to happen best case scenario in 8 years. Lynn's fy 12 proposed chapter 70 increase is $8 million, or a 6.7% increase.
Michelle Bailey January 26, 2012 at 01:04 AM
It looks like the numbers for Boxford, Middleton, & Topsfield are for their elementary schools only. What is the Chapter 70 number for the MASCO district? That money also flows to B, M & T.


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