Back in September 2018, the wizards behind The Policy Minute published the districts with schools in 99th and 1st percentile rankings with the amount of education funding relative to the Massachusetts foundation budget spending requirements. To no one’s surprise, the districts with the highest ranked schools also had the means to fund their schools for in excess of the amounts required by law. Districts who are squeaking by with the bare minimum of school funding allowed by law were not ranked as highly.
Districts with the highest and lowest ranked schools continue to show wide disparities between their education spending and the foundation budget and the capacity of the the communities to increase education spending based on median household income.
So, new accountability system in Massachusetts is supposed to change things? Not so fast. Using the 2018 school funding numbers and 2018 accountability system rankings, districts with at least one school ranked in the highest 99th percentile are proving 125% to over 250% of the minimum required funds.
And yet again, Holyoke, Fall River, Lawrence and Springfield (all districts with partial involvement or total control of the school system by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) have at least one school ranked in the 1st percentile AND are barely meeting the minimum Foundation Budget requirements. These four districts all receive 80% -95% of their school funding through Ch. 70 state aid where the highest funded districts received less than 20% of their from Ch. 70 state aid.