Massachusetts’ foundation budget formula, which determines state education aid to each state district, has been out of date for years, thereby underfunding our districts of essential educational services.
The Student Opportunity Act, as amended in the Senate, places the central focus of district improvement plans on the kinds of opportunities provided to students. It also preserves the principle of local School Committee control, and places emphasis on the importance of parent and educator voices in school management.
The Senate’s version also included an amendment to ensure all students, particularly English language learners, differently abled students and low-income students have access to the things they need.
During this week’s Council meeting, the Council voted to adopt a resolution urging the State Legislature to approve the Student Opportunity Act in the fall of 2019. The Student Opportunity Act would phase in an updated foundation budget formula, resulting in a projected $1.5 billion increase in state education aid to local cities and towns as of 2027.
Councilor Essaibi-George said the bill is currently being debated in the House and will hopefully be finalized soon.