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Public School Funding in Massachusetts: Putting Recent Reform Proposals in Context

A new analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center of the most recent US Census Bureau data on state by state education financing finds that between 2002 and 2004 Massachusetts lost ground in three critical measures: spending on education as a share of total income in the state; the share of spending paid for by the state, rather than local governments; and cost-adjusted spending per pupil. The study, the fourth edition of "Public School Funding in Massachusetts," also discusses the changes to Chapter 70 education funding included in the FY 2007 budget proposals of the Governor, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. It examines both how the proposed changes in calculating the costs of education, local contributions, and the distribution of state education aid would address some of the shortcomings of the current system, and how they would leave other problems unresolved. In addition, the report reviews the state education spending and inflation requirements in current law and shows that despite the proposed reforms, the budgets put forward by the Governor, the House, and the Senate fall short of the amounts called for in Section 12 of Chapter 70 of the state general laws by $276 to $322 million.

May 20, 2006 | PDF