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S. 2348

It earns the sticker.
First things first:

Health insurance: average rate of growth of employer share in GIC over prior 3 fiscal years
(that's a check on #FBRC)
in-district sped to 4% of most districts/5% voke

out-of-district sped goes to $35,547 by the end of the term, so 78% of approved costs on $45,793 in FY20 (and it's tied to inflation)

(that's a check on #FBRC)
The foundation charts (to be implemented, per the last section by 2027) take ELL (FY20 to ending goal)
preK-5 $2275 to $2537
6-8 $2380 to $2721
9-12 $1855 to 3755
So, this isn't actually #FBRC, because we've all agreed (?) in the meantime that it's better for it to be progressive towards the high school end.
So this is better, actually. And that's an aggressive increase on the high school end.

Yeah, they got it.

To give an idea: for FY20, the highest rate is $4589.
In 2027 in S2348, it would be $8797.

It is actually called "low income" and it is defined as "family income not more than 185% of the federal poverty guidelines."
As Colin Jones of @MassBudget has pointed out, that is a BIGGER group than currently classified as economically disadvantaged.
@MassBudget AND FURTHER:
(in one of several sections that I imagine may be less than popular in Malden)

DESE is charged with finding "a consistent and accurate method to estimate the share of low income students in each district" if such is not available.
And yes, there's a data commission, which is one of SEVERAL commissions in the bill, so that makes us 5/5 on #FBRC.

So far so good?
DESE is supposed to have that low income estimation report back by 11/1/20 for use in FY22.
in a section I personally find amusing, DESE, in consultation with DoR "shall promulgate regulations to ensure a uniform method of determining which municipal expenditures are appropriated for the support of public education and which revenues are attributable to public education
"...the regulations shall include provisions for resolving disputes that may arise between municipal and school officials."
(aka: you don't get to make up what your net school spending is)

It phases in reimbursement of out-of-district special education transportation costs (25% in FY21; 50% in FY22; 75% in FY23; 100% in FY24) as part of the circuit breaker (which reimburses at 75%)
The fact sheet estimates that's a $90M statewide expense, so that's a nice recognition of the high and increasing costs of district transportation.
full charter reimbursement (not full costs; current rules) at not less than 75% (FY21), 90% (FY22), 100% (FY23)
Sets $30/pupil as a "minimum aid adjustment"
also (as in the FY20 budget, municipalities with a Combined Effort Yield of 175% or greater of the foundation budget have a required local contribution of not less than 82.5%
(which is a small equity step but it is one)
(this one I didn't see coming)
The @Mass_SBA cap is lifted! Currently, it is $600M; for FY20 (This year!) it would go to $750M and then tied to sales tax growth (or 4.5%, whichever is lower).

Sorry, failed to note on the foundation budget: there is an additional internal adjustment in rates: it boosts the guidance and psychological services line (which interestingly comes to us from Gov. Baker's bill)
I know of no one who would dispute the necessity of that.
I do want to add that a bunch of the "let's make the MGL say what we actually do so we don't have to stick all the language in the budget each year" stuff is in here, including the 59/41 split about which I literally posted yesterday.
Cheers to all those who read such parts!
Two more sections that don't have financial implications now but could:

1. A Rural Schools Commission (which interestingly also includes a mention of regional schools) in Section 21. That has to be back with a report and recommendations 6/30/20 (which is quick!).
2. DESE and the Division of Local Services are to look at the determination of municipal wealth (note they didn't create a commission for that one!), particularly with regard to the changes in 2006 and what S2348 will do it all. That report by 12/1/20
THAT LAST ONE for those of you who have been expressing concerns around the local resources and school costs questions is the one you're going to want to look at (and Bostonians, perhaps you, too?).
That's a rather nice h/t to Chair @RepAlicePeisch's disciplined reminders to the Commission that their charge did not extend to the municipal wealth calcuations.
@RepAlicePeisch I am going to refrain from using the gif on this but there is YET MORE DATA REPORTING!

The Commissioner is to set statewide targets for address persistent disparities in achievement; then each district has to establish targets; then the districts have to submit three year plans.
The plans have to include how Ch.70 funding will be used in support of the plan, particularly connected to EL and low income students, what they're doing, how they're measuring it, and
"how the district will effectuate and measure increased parent engagement."
The first ones will be due in April.
The districts then annually have to submit the data, then update the plans every three years.
(I'm hoping that someone's going to suggest this just get merged into the school improvement plans, because otherwise we just tacked a few more things onto the superintendent list that could probably just be linked to what we already have and do.)
The Secretary (which is odd) is to collect and publish data on student preparedness and high school post-graduate success; this is section 4 and it doesn't appear to include college completion rates, for one.
Okay, arguably one more money thing: the act establishes a 21st century education trust fund (this is also from the Governor's bill), which can be used by the Commissioner, although it gives him an advisory committee on it.
(It doesn't allocate any money to it.)
Section 14 describes what they can use it for. The one bit that's interesting is that districts can apply for a waiver for one or more regulations, to be granted at the Commissioner discretion in connection with the grant.
And that, #MAEdu, is that.

They get the money parts. They added some additional good things on money. They include some things to look at for the future that are legitimate concerns.
They didn't try to tie up the money (reporting isn't tying), nor did they give the Commissioner the authority to take it away.
They didn't add in dubious additions under a misuse of accountability.
I think some of those timelines on reporting are...ambitious, and I'm a little dubious on some of what they're asking for, but on a bill of this size and importance, that's scarcely worth mentioning.

My personal letters will be going in asking that they get this one through.
As always, questions? Send them along.
(Heading for a train right now...)
Okay THREE MORE THINGS (for now):
1. No, early college high school as a base foundation designation is not included.
2. The “but we get less aid if there is more money” issue for that handful of districts IS handled.
The bottom of page 8 (starting line 176) creates a “minimum aid adjustment” which allows for a comparison with the FY20 level (and a district won’t get less).
(My favorite one)
3. The low income sorting is NOT INTO DECILES. The bill calls them “groups,” because there are now TWELVE.

@MA_Senate, @KarenSpilka, @SenJasonLewis, the word for this is “DUO-DECILES.”
Surely we can all learn the word “duo-deciles,” #MAEdu?
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