Gov. Charlie Baker to propose major change to charter school funding formula

Gov. Charlie Baker took a selfie with Brooke Charter School students in October 2015.
Gov. Charlie Baker took a selfie with Brooke Charter School students in October 2015. –Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is set to propose a significant overhaul of the formula of payments for local school districts who lose funding to charter schools.

The proposal, Massachusetts education secretary James A. Peyser said, is an attempt to calm those concerned about public school funding in light of Baker’s push for greater access to charter schools, The Boston Globe reports:

The new system would cut the number of years that districts can seek reimbursement from six to three, and restrict payments after the first year to low-performing districts with large numbers of charter seats, Massachusetts education secretary James A. Peyser said.

But Baker’s proposed fix would also double the amount districts receive in the second year from 25 percent to 50 percent of the lost tuition. It would also seek to ensure that districts eligible for reimbursement actually get paid — something that has not been guaranteed in recent years, as the state has underfunded the reimbursement system.

The changes also include adding $20 million in allocated funds in year two of the new system.

“Putting an extra $20 million in the charter school reimbursement in a really tough fiscal year, I think, sends a strong statement that we’re willing to engage on this subject,’’ Peyser said.

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was “extremely encouraged’’ by the proposal, according to the Globe.

You can read the full story at The Boston Globe.

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