State school funding formula too generous to wealthy districts, report says

“This research and analysis shows that there’s a massive scale of inequity that’s baked into the current state aid formula,” Ed Lambert, executive director of the business alliance, said in a phone interview.

Lambert said the formula was intended to put more money into needy districts to help offset limited local funding and “fulfill the constitutional requirement to make sure that all students were getting access to a high-quality education.”

“Over time what has happened, and what the report points out, is that additions and/or changes have been made … to expand parts of the formula in ways that allowed all communities to benefit, whether they had the capacity to fund education on their own or not,” Lambert said.

State Representative Alice Peisch, co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, said in a phone interview Sunday that “at the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of the funds

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Mass. school funding formula gives wealthy districts more aid than they need



a large city


© John Tlumacki / Boston Globe


The formula for distributing state funding to schools in Massachusetts gives wealthier districts more money than they need, creating a widening equity gap at the expense of students in low-income communities, according to a report released Monday from the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. 

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The two groups found in their analysis that some factors in the funding formula result in wealthier districts getting additional state money, despite being able to fully fund their schools “with less or no state aid.”

“Equitable access to resources is an essential component of closing equity and opportunity gaps,” Ed Lambert, executive director of Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, said in a statement. “It is critical, particularly in this economic climate, that we redirect state dollars to communities serving students that need them the most.”

The Chapter 70 funding formula,

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