A few districts would benefit greatly from Baker’s school funding proposal
That, however, doesn’t leave much for the rest of the state’s more than 300 other districts. Consequently, more than 150 of them would wind up with increases of 1 percent or less, the Globe review found.
That list includes Boston, which serves the largest number of black, Latino, low-income, and immigrant students in the state, as well as many bedroom communities with tiny commercial tax bases, such as Pembroke and Reading, and several sprawling regional school districts in Western Massachusetts, where spending in many cases has been cut to the bone and student achievement is suffering.
The lack of significant increases for so many districts could signal trouble ahead for Baker’s proposal, Beacon Hill observers say. Many legislators, they say, may be reluctant to support a measure that brings little relief to their constituents, many of whom are frustrated with rising property taxes to pay for education while grappling with mortgages in a state with one of the most expensive housing stocks n the nation.
“There are a lot of districts that . . . believe the funding formula is broken and they are being left behind,” said Thomas Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.
In Medford, where nearly a third of its 4,300 students live in poverty, the city would receive only a $92,000 increase in state aid, raising the total to $12 million. But the amount of aid going to cover charter school tuition will climb from $5.1 million this year to $5.9 million next year, taking all the district’s aid increase and then some.
“I don’t know where we will make up that money,” said Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke.