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New Massachusetts law cuts school funding gaps

New York Teacher

 Massachusetts adopted a law on Nov. 26 that will provide an additional $1.5 billion to the state’s school districts. The new spending formula distributes state dollars on a per-pupil basis, using criteria like house­hold income and property tax revenue — as well as weighing factors like language barriers — to identify and prioritize the districts with the greatest need. The new formula will provide higher per-student aid for children living in poverty, students with disabili­ties and English language learners. 
 
“This legislation is about making sure every kid in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, regardless of where they live or where they’re from or where they go to school, has the opportunity to get the educa­tion they need to be great,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. 

A legislative commission found in 2015 that Mas­sachusetts’ school funding formula failed to keep pace with inflation. While affluent communities could more than make up the difference with prop­erty taxes, poorer school systems fell further and fur­ther behind. Lawmakers crafted the new spending policy to close that gap. 

Boston Globe, Nov. 26