, 23 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Okay, a few #MaEdu school finance notes before MA twitter becomes awash in 🏈 and ⚾️ for the evening...
(This tweet was immediately followed in my feed by the Patriots warm up. The Sox also play tonight. I thought there was some sort of cosmic agreement that we didn’t do that.)
First, if you were following the Joint Committee on #MaEdu earlier this week, you may have caught this:
Senator Lewis spent some time in the hearing trying to chase down why it was that districts might NOT have switched to community eligibility, even with high direct certification rates (this all on the nutrition bills from @RepAndyVargas)
@RepAndyVargas Let me just say--and this is of course just me personally--I'm a little leery of the hard "you gotta switch at 60%" in the bill. The calculation I've seen is it works at 62.5%; some districts make it work for lower than that (as they aren't processing forms). That's a squeaker.
@RepAndyVargas (For those who have not a blessed idea what I'm talking about: this is the seemingly magic "all the meals are free for all" process; direct certification is matching the kids to other databases to certified that they qualify for free lunch;
enough kids = possible community eligibility, which is USDA covering number of ID'd kids times 1.6, up to 100% of your kids)
So districts figuring out if the NUTRITION costs work for them makes, of course, all the sense in the world. That's just plain ol' doing your job.
But I got stuck on the Title I thing, because it didn't make sense to me that DESE would be using two systems to divide up the funding.
(We aren't, for example, in Ch. 70.)
So I asked those who know such things, and it turns out, we're not.
I'm going to get more on this (because knowing how things work well enough to explain it myself is a thing with me), but the short version is: it's census data (which of course doesn't parallel district lines) and then economically disadvantaged data.
What it isn't is free/reduced lunch counts.

So deciding or not to switch to direct certification makes no difference in the Title I count.
(And if you're having this discussion/debate locally, can I suggest that you get DESE on the phone about it?)
I did put this in as a note in the relevant section of the @MASCSchoolComm write-up of the #MAEdu Joint Committee hearing masc.org/policy-subscri…
Some of you might remember the meltdown in Everett over school finances 2018?
(Like here? whdh.com/news/everett-s…)
The Mayor put together a commission to look at finances: cityofeverett.com/CivicAlerts.as…
Full report: cityofeverett.com/DocumentCenter…

(mostly sharing as follow-up)
The one comment I'll make is if Everett funds right at or around foundation, they could just move to figuring out what that'll be once the inflation rate and their enrollment counts are together.
Oh, and don't forget that buses don't count towards foundation.
(probably shouldn't say "just" there, but it is a do-able calculation...)
This goes beyond the Everett coverage, but it would be useful to be a liiiiiittle more cautious with the poverty switch numbers. The funding boosted, remember, so you need to be sure when you drop the count, you also raised the rates.
(in other words, using the higher count and the higher rate isn't particularly accurate, as we know that rate increase was in response to the counts dropping.)
Relatedly, I still want to do "how do you know how much of your funding switch came from what" (cc @hashtagRoberto!) but I want to do some more scribbling offline first.

Also the Sox have started, so I'm out. As always, though, send #MAEdu Qs my way!
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