Report: Nearly $500 Million Of Needs-Blind School Funding Goes To Wealthiest 20% Of Mass. Districts

With economic uncertainty threatening promised state funding for public schools, an education advocacy group comprised of dozens of Massachusetts businesses on Monday recommended changes to the state’s district funding formula.

The group, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), released a report that found that almost $500 million of needs-blind state aid goes to the wealthiest 20% of school districts under the current formula.

MBAE leaders argued a gradual rollback of certain needs-blind funding provisions for the state’s wealthiest districts could alleviate some now starker financial realities for poor districts in the pandemic. They said districts that struggled long before the coronavirus, like Lawrence and Brockton, would benefit.

Since last year, many districts were anticipating significant boosts in state funding following the passage of the Student Opportunity Act. That legislation was slated to add $1.5 billion to the public education system annually after a seven-year rollout. But the recession spurred on

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