State panel to study education budgeting

Recommendations are expected in 2015

Photo: Thinkstock

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state spends around four-billion dollars in education funding each year. There’s a formula in place that calculates how much money it takes to keep a school district up and running. One panel is studying ways to make that system work better.

Every school district in Massachusetts has a “foundation budget” that determines adequate spending levels in each area. It’s all based on a strict formula that takes into account the number of students in each district, and other costs ranging from employee benefits to special education and school maintenance costs.

The system is updated each year based on inflation, leaving some departments with more money than others.

State Rep. Alice Peisch, (D) Chair of the Education Committee, said, “It appears that all those increases have gone to health insurance, leaving many of the other elements in the foundation budget underfunded, sort of by default.”

State lawmakers created a panel to study ways to improve how funding is calculated. The panel expects to release their recommendations by summer 2015.

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