Funded: Charters

A Detailed Look at Each State's Charter School Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Massachusetts
Funding Basics
Authorizer

Charter funding policies and reporting practices within each state may vary depending on the entity that authorized the charter school. Charter schools in Massachusetts may be authorized by the State Board of Education.

References:
“Charter Schools: What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body?” Education Commission of the States, 50-State Comparison, January 2018. 
Funding Formula

Funding for charter schools in Massachusetts is calculated based on a formula distinct from to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Massachusetts calculates per student funding for charter schools through several components: Charter schools receive a per student formula amount, calculated separately for each school district sending students to the charter. This amount is then increased by a percentage which reflects the amount by which sending district’s actual spending exceeds their formula amount, excluding some types of spending such as health care costs for retired district employees. Finally, charters also receive a separate form of funding to cover facilities costs.

References:
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71, § 89 (Lexis 2019)
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Charter schools in Massachusetts receive all funding directly from the state.

The state provides funding for charter schools in Massachusetts by withholding an equivalent amount of state aid for school districts that send students to charters.

References:
pers. comm. Robert F. O’Donnell, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, October 12, 2018.
Withholdings

State law in Massachusetts does not specify that a share of charter funding is withheld.

However, state law sets limits on the share of school district spending that may go towards charter school funding.

References:
Mass. Gen. Laws ch.71, § 89 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

All charter schools in Massachusetts receive a share of local tax revenue, which the state withholds from payments to the school districts.

Charter schools do not have direct access to revenue raised by local governments for school districts. However, the level of funding that charters receive varies depending on spending in their students’ district(s) of residence, including increased spending as a result of local tax revenue. The state provides funding for charter schools in Massachusetts by withholding an equivalent amount of state aid for school districts that send students to charters.

References:
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71, § 89
pers. comm. Robert F. O’Donnell, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, October 9, 2018.
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Charter schools in Massachusetts constitute their own local education agencies.

References:
pers. comm. Robert F. O’Donnell, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, October 9, 2018.
Student Count

Charter school students in Massachusetts are counted as students of the charter they attend for state reporting purposes.

References:
pers. comm. Joanna Laghetto, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, January 16, 2019
Funding

State funding for charter schools in Massachusetts is reported separately from state funding for any district.

References:
pers. comm. Joanna Laghetto, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, January 16, 2019.
Expenditures

Charter school expenditures in Massachusetts are reported as part of the expenditures of the school district where the student resides.

References:
 pers. comm. Joanna Laghetto, Massachusetts Department of Education, email, January 16, 2019.