Amherst School Committee 6-14-17

Amherst School Committee: 6-14-2017

Title: 
Amherst School Committee: 6-14-2017
Description: 

REGULAR Meeting of the AMHERST School Committee
6:00 PM, WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017
Library
Amherst Regional High School
AGENDA
1. Welcome 6:00 p.m.
A. Call to Order
B. Approve Minutes—May 17, 2017
2. Announcements and Public Comments 6:05 p.m.
3. Interim Superintendent’s Update 6:15 p.m.
 Furthering Diversity in K-12 Schools through Student Assignment Conference
4. New and Continuing Business
A. Open Meeting Law Complaint Response from Attorney General 6:25 p.m.
B. School Building Committee Composition Discussion 6:30 p.m.
C. Enrollment Group (Vote) 6:45 p.m.
a. POTENTIAL MOTION: To task the superintendent with forming an
enrollment working group to develop a menu of potential solutions to
the ongoing enrollment challenges facing the district by the end of the
calendar year
D. UFCW Recognition Agreement (Vote) 7:00 p.m.
a. POTENTIAL MOTION: Move to accept the enclosed recognition
agreement between the School Committees of Amherst, Pelham, and the
Amherst-Pelham Regional School District and the United Food and
Commercial Workers Union, Local 1459.
E. Bill S223FBRC (An Act Modernizing the Foundation Budget for the 21st 7:10 p.m.
Century) Discussion (with Representative S. Goldstein-Rose by phone)
F. Amherst School Committee Subcommittees Assignments 7:30 p.m.
G. Public Comment Format 7:40 p.m.
H. Accept Gifts 7:50 p.m.
5. School Committee Planning 7:55 p.m.
6. Adjournment 8:00 p.m.
Amherst School Committee Meeting
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Library, Amherst Regional High School
IN ATTENDANCE
Phoebe Hazzard Mike Morris, Interim Superintendent
Peter Demling Susan Wells, Wildwood Librarian
Anastasia Ordonez Public and Press
Eric Nakajima Debbie Westmoreland, Recorder
Vira Douangmany-Cage (participating remotely)
1. Call to Order and Approve Minutes 6:04 p.m.
Ms. Hazzard called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. and reviewed the agenda. Mr. Demling moved to approve the
minutes from April 25, 2017. Ms. Ordonez seconded and the motion was approved by roll call vote as follows: Demling—
Aye; Hazzard--Aye; Nakajima--Aye; Ordonez--Aye; Douangmany-Cage--Abstaining. Mr. Nakajima moved to approve the
minutes of May 1, 2017. Mr. Demling seconded and the motion was approved by roll call vote as follows: Demling--Aye;
Hazzard--Aye; Nakajima--Aye; Ordonez--Aye; Douangmany-Cage--Abstaining
2. Announcements and Public Comment 6:08 p.m.
Ms. Hazzard stated that a response has been received from the Attorney General regarding an open meeting law complaint
against the Regional School Committee. Since it is a Regional School Committee matter, it will not be addressed at tonight’s
meeting but will be on the agenda for the May 23 Regional School Committee meeting. Ms. Hazzard also noted that a
number of people have expressed interest in having a process by which public comment can be made at times other than
the beginning of the meetings. She said the committee will discuss this at a future meeting. Mr. Demling noted that public
comment is guided by policy, so a change to it would go through the policy review process.
Toni Cunningham, parent, noted that she supports the effort to offer a survey to families who do not choose to attend the
Amherst Schools. She expressed support for also establishing a standard process for surveying families who exit the
district. Ms. Cunningham applauded Dr. Morris for his openness and honesty at recent post-building project presentations
and encouraged School Committee members to host multiple, two-way discussion opportunities for families. Laura
Draucker, community member, noted that the best approach to community engagement is to start with a diverse
committee, begin with a very robust public engagement process that has been vetted by as many people as possible, have a
written comment process that solicits comments that propose actual alternatives and are shared publicly. Maria Kopicki,
community member, spoke about the need to have a broad, diverse building committee that has diverse voices at the
table. She strongly encouraged the School Committee to record and broadcast all meetings of committee and
subcommittee meetings as a way to ensure transparency. Judy Hamilton, Crocker Farm parent, spoke on behalf of the
leadership team from Vote Yes. She stated that she is hopeful that lessons have been learned from the past process, noting
that she hopes that the parents involved on the building committee have younger children since they will be the ones who
use the school in the future. Ms. Hamilton noted that the School Committee is being asked to begin now addressing all of
the enrollment issues that face the district since they cannot wait until the building process is complete. Vince O’Connor,
community member, suggested that the School Committee consider allowing public comment during discussion of agenda
items. He thanked the School Committee and the Superintendent for having an effective, well-thought out process for
addressing bullying issues. Katherine Appy, former School Committee member, Town Meeting member and parent, spoke
about the importance of separating the current enrollment issues from the building project, noting the inequities presented
by these issues. She noted that the enrollment issues are in the School Committee’s authority and encouraged them to
address them with urgency. Janet McGowen, community member, urged the committee not to feel bound to the MSBA
process, but to develop a public process that truly reaches out to the community so that people are heard.
3. New and Continuing Business 6:24 p.m.
A. Role and Membership of Fort River Feasibility Study Building Committee
Ms. Hazzard noted that the goal of tonight’s discussion is to talk about what the school building committee’s role is and
what steps need to be taken as a committee to decide on the profile of committee members. Dr. Morris read the Town
Meeting Article to remind the committee and audience of what Town Meeting charged the building committee to
accomplish. He noted that there is no commitment to put a building up for a vote at the end of this process; rather the
charge is to gather data for consideration by Town Meeting. Dr. Morris noted that comments from the previous building
committee members had three consistent themes: 
● A committee of 18 was too large to have meaningful, ongoing dialogue;
● There needed to be more publicly elected officials on the building committee, and
● The focus and commitment needs to be understood by all members before they join the committee.
Dr. Morris noted that he thinks the work of the building committee is about the possibilities of the Fort River site, not about
grade configuration or the educational plan. Mr. Nakajima asked Dr. Morris to speak to whether the building committee
would address the preschool issue and to speak more about the educational plan, Dr. Morris addressed the preschool issue,
noting that the School Committee could give the school building committee a directive to look into that as part of their
work. Dr. Morris noted that educational programs do have some impact on design, but it is mostly technical. Ms. Ordonez
said that she has heard a desire from community members to be involved throughout the entire process. She noted that
she thinks people are very concerned about the issue of grade configuration and the educational plan so she believes the
two processes—the educational plan and the building committee/site assessment—need to happen simultaneously. She
suggested finding a way to address the issue of educational planning, perhaps by having it as a standing agenda item. Dr.
Morris agreed, noting again that there is no commitment from the town to actually build this building. The only
commitment at this time is to fund researching the feasibility of the Fort River site. He said that there are known equity
and enrollment challenges that must be addressed. Ms. Douangmany Cage noted that her concern for the building
committee is to bring those who have been on opposite sides together at the table with equal voices in a bipartisan
process. Mr. Demling noted that his understanding has been that the building committee will develop a set of proposals for
renovation or building that would be voted on by the School Committee for a recommendation to Town Meeting. Dr.
Morris noted that there was not a vote at Town Meeting to bring this forward for a Town Meeting vote on approving a
building, as is the case with an MSBA project. Mr. Nakajima noted that we want to find a project that staff, families and the
community can be excited about and will want to move forward with. He said we need to come up with a variety of
possible configurations for the building committee to ensure that the committee is functional and to find creative ways to
engage those who cannot be on the committee. Dr. Morris noted that he heard the feedback regarding grade configuration
and would not go down that road at this time. With regard to co-location, he does not think it would be financially practical
for a fully town-funded school.
Discussion turned to the profile of the building committee. Ms. Ordonez said that she is wary of making the committee too
large, noting that she would not go beyond the size of the last building committee. She expressed support for having
representation from parents of older children who have gone through the school and noted that she sees the benefit of
having a liaison from Town government. Mr. Demling noted that the community engagement will need to be much more
robust if the committee is smaller. He suggested that members of the committee should be there not to express their
personal opinion but to take in data and run the community engagement. Mr. Demling spoke about the possible ways of
selecting members for the committee, noting the potential to have community input into the way in which selections are
made. Ms. Douangmany Cage said that real effort needs to be made to ensure that people from some of the underrepresented
populations are involved. She suggested having the Family Center help with outreach. Mr. Nakajima noted
that there were a lot of competencies on the last building committee that would logically be included on such a committee.
He agreed that having a liaison with town government would be helpful. Mr. Nakajima noted that he believes that there
will be people who very much want to be involved and engaged but cannot be on the committee. He said the School
Committee has an obligation to ensure that people are well-engaged and meaningfully involved. Dr. Morris noted that he
believes it is really important to have a representative from SEPAC, someone with knowledge about procurement, and
someone from the Facilities staff. Ms. Ordonez requested a list of the previous building committee members with their
competencies well in advance of the next meeting so it can be shared publicly and can inform the discussion of the new
committee membership. Ms. Douangmany Cage noted that there may be opportunity here to put the participatory action
research policy into play. Mr. Demling suggested being Fort River-centrist since it is a Fort River feasibility study. Dr. Morris
noted that it is important to ensure that the committee make-up is not just people who are directly connected to the
schools. He noted that it is a town-wide project, not just a school project. Mr. Nakajima suggested the possibility of
creating an empowered group, in addition to the building committee, that would meet regularly and serve as a dialogue,
feedback and responsiveness group. It was agreed that Dr. Morris will meet with the Chair and Vice-Chair to develop a draft
document to inform the discussion at the next meeting.
B. Arts Integration Update with Susan Wells
This item was moved up on the agenda in the interest of time for Ms. Wells. Dr. Morris introduced Susan Wells, Wildwood
librarian and media specialist, noting the innovative arts integration work that happens at Wildwood under her direction.
Ms. Wells provided data about the library, noting that they check out about 3,000 books per week. She then utilized the
Wildwood library website to review integration projects that are being done as a team with the librarian, the art teacher 
and classroom teachers. Ms. Wells invited members of the School Committee to visit one of the Wildwood makerspace
activities that take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Ms. Hazzard thanked Ms. Wells for coming to make the presentation.
C. Charter/Private/Choice Family Survey
DOCUMENT: The Amherst-Regional Public Schools Survey of Families Choosing Private Schools; The Amherst-Regional
Public Schools Survey of Families Choosing Charter Schools; The Amherst-Regional Public Schools Survey of Families
Choosing Choice Schools
Dr. Morris noted that the surveys have been drafted as a way to solicit feedback from families who choose to attend a
school other than the Amherst schools. He explained that the surveys will be sent to families with a self-addressed,
stamped envelope and will also include a link to take the survey via Survey Monkey or a QR code. He asked School
Committee members to share any feedback on the surveys, noting that they can email comments if they need additional
time to review the documents. Dr. Morris noted that the goal is to have the surveys sent out by June 1. Ms. Ordonez
suggested including a question about students with special needs unless it was deliberately left out. Dr. Morris said he will
craft a question about special needs students. Mr. Demling said that sending an advance letter noting that a survey is
coming can generate responses, and sending the survey twice is a good idea. He asked if this survey is geared toward
marketing our schools. Dr. Morris explained that we want to understand why people are making the choices they are, and
if themes emerge, we need to address them whether they are perception issues or realities of the district. Mr. Nakajima
said he believes this survey should be done regularly. He suggested changing “physical infrastructure” in question 12 to
“facilities.” Ms. Ordonez noted that she has heard a lot of misinformation around the issue of charter schools and students
leaving the district. She suggested making it clear in the initial letter that goes out that we are not in a panic state about
the number of students leaving the district, rather, it is important to have data and to use it to change any concerns that
can be addressed.
D. Feedback from Initial Post-Building Project Engagement
Dr. Morris reported that the PGOs helped organize post-building project engagement meetings at all three schools to
gather feedback, and staff meetings were also held at all three schools. A forum will be scheduled specifically for families
with special needs students, and the post-building project presentation will be made at Town Meeting on a date to be
scheduled. Dr. Morris noted that there were a number of people at the meetings who had not been at meetings for the
building project so a broader group is being engaged. With regard to addressing the enrollment issues, Dr. Morris noted
that redistricting for 2018-2019 is too soon to do the process well. He said the fall of 2019 is the earliest he would
recommend and suggested that a working group could be put together to begin work this summer. Dr. Morris noted that
such a working group would visit other schools, research options and report to the School Committee about their work
each month over a course of eight months or so. Mr. Demling suggested asking the Principals to seek feedback from their
staff members to be shared with the Superintendent and School Committee to address working conditions. He asked Dr.
Morris to speak to what he sees the charge of the group to be. Dr. Morris said it would be studying, in-depth, as many
ideas to address enrollment issues as is feasible. Mr. Nakajima noted that, as a process matter, we would want to
determine how we would set priorities on which to focus. Ms. Ordonez noted that she likes the idea of developing several
different options to consider and decide upon. Mr. Demling noted that he looks at this as a constraint-based problem due
to the schedule. He said there is not enough time for a master plan, but he supports looking at as many creative ideas as
possible given the time constraints. Dr. Morris noted that, if done well, he does not think eight months to come up with a
menu of options is rushed. Discussion continued regarding the way in which priorities for focus will be set by the full
committee. Dr. Morris noted that he does feel some urgency to get started on the enrollment issues.
E. School Committee Communication with the Public
Ms. Hazzard said that she would like to explore ways to keep the public regularly updated on what is happening and what is
coming up on future agendas. Ideas she suggested are having “office hours,” farmer's market outreach, working with The
Gazette to have a regular column written by one or two members, or having a small item in the ARPS Updates. Ms.
Ordonez said that having a regular voice in The Gazette would be good place to start because of the nature of that media.
She noted that making the schools’ issues more visible in a regular way, to a broad swath of the community, is important.
Mr. Nakajima volunteered to reach out to the editor of The Gazette about this possibility. Ms. Douangmany Cage suggested
revising the Amherst Media show about the schools. Dr. Morris offered to support outreach about this possibility with
Amherst Media. Ms. Ordonez suggested that the first topic for the article in The Gazette should be about seeking
community feedback on the issues discussed tonight. Mr. Nakajima suggested that Dr. Morris could do short segment
videos for Amherst Media on the topics on which public feedback is needed.
F. Interim Superintendent Evaluation Instrument
DOCUMENT: End-of-Cycle Summative Evaluation Report--Amherst
Ms. Hazzard noted that the evaluation instrument presented tonight was revised with input from Dorothy Presser of MASC.
Ms. Ordonez suggested adding something about diversity under indicator II-B. Ms. Ordonez then moved to approve the
end-of-cycle summative evaluation instrument, and Mr. Demling seconded. Dr. Morris noted that the committee will
receive a document from him tomorrow that includes links to artifacts that inform the elements and his goals. After
discussion, Ms. Ordonez moved to amend her initial motion to amend indicator IIB to read “Implements a cohesive
approach to recruitment, hiring, induction, development, and career growth that promotes diversity, as well as highquality
and effective practice.” Mr. Demling seconded and, after brief discussion, the amendment was unanimously
approved by roll call vote. The original amended motion was then approved unanimously by roll call vote. There was
discussion of the methodology to use for the survey, with Dr. Morris explaining that Survey Monkey can be set to allow
respondents to go in more than once to work on the survey. A pdf copy of the respondent’s submission can be emailed to
them by Ms. Westmoreland. The consensus of the committee was to use Survey Monkey as the collection tool.
5. Interim Superintendent’s Update 9:25 p.m.
DOCUMENT: Interim Superintendent’s Update to the Amherst School Committee dated May 17, 2017
Dr. Morris distributed his written update and briefly spoke about:
● The Black Scholars Rising event last week;
● The Bias-Based Incidents Conference he and five other staff members attended on May 10;
● The Special Education Survey that is currently being conducted with families and staff;
● The Furthering Diversity Conference coming up on June 1;
● The upcoming end-of-year events and activities, including graduation;
● The upcoming joint study between the Town of Amherst and UMass regarding students in tax-exempt housing;
and
● An update on final lead water repairs at Wildwood and Fort River.
6. Further Business 9:30 p.m.
A. Clerical/Media Award
DOCUMENT: Memo to the Amherst School Committee from Debbie Westmoreland, Assistant to the Superintendent re:
Clerical/Media Awards dated May 12, 2017
Mr. Nakajima moved that, in accordance with the Unit B employee contract, the Amherst School Committee approves
clerical/media merit awards in the amount of $500 each for Heather Poirier and Georgia Malcolm. Ms. Ordonez seconded
and the motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.
B. Policy Vote: Students--Protection of Undocumented Students
DOCUMENT: Policy JII Students--Protection of Undocumented Students
Ms. Ordonez moved to approve the policy Student--Protection of Undocumented Students. Mr. Nakajima seconded and the
motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.
F. Accept Gifts
DOCUMENT: Memos to the Amherst School Committee from Jill Berry, District Treasurer, Dated March 3, 2017 and May
9, 2017; Memo to the Amherst School Committee from Debbie Westmoreland, Assistant to the Superintendent, re:
Donations to Students for the Summer Program, dated May 12, 2017
Mr. Demling moved to accept any and all donations of supplies and monetary gifts in support of student needs to allow full
participation in summer programs for the summer of 2017. Mr. Nakajima seconded and the motion was unanimously
approved by roll call vote. Dr. Morris acknowledged the work of AEF and thanked them for the grants they are providing
for teachers. He briefly explained what the Champions Course and Torch Bearers Project grants support. Mr. Nakajima
moved to accept $5,200 from the Amherst Education Foundation for the Champions Course and Torch Bearers Project. Ms.
Ordonez seconded and the motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote. Mr. Demlilng expressed his gratitude for
the incredible work of AEF and noted that he would love to have them come to a future meeting to talk about their work
and their grant program. Ms. Ordonez moved to accept $500 from Big Y for Crocker Farm at the Principal’s discretion and
$500 from Big Y for Fort River at the Principal’s discretion. Mr. Nakajima seconded and the motion was unanimously
approved by roll call vote.
7. School Committee Planning 9:42 p.m.
Ms. Westmoreland will do a Doodle poll for week of June 12 and June 5 for an additional Amherst School Committee
meeting. Mr. Demling suggested having someone from MASC and Representative Goldstein come to a meeting to talk
about the foundation budget and advocacy. Mr. Nakajima and Ms. Ordonez expressed their support for this.
8. Adjourn 9:46 p.m.
Mr. Nakajima moved to adjourn at 9:46 p.m. Ms. Ordonez seconded and the motion was unanimously approved by roll call
vote.
Respectfully Submitted,
Debbie Westmoreland
1
Furthering Diversity in K-12 Schools Through Student Assignment
June 1, 2017
Georgetown Law Center, Washington, DC
For wifi access, network is gulaw events and password is gohoyas!
8:30-9:00am Check in Chapel Area, First Floor
9:00-10:15am Overview and Framing Panel (Location: McDonough 207)
• What’s the state of segregation?
• Why does school segregation matter?
• What is the current legal and political context around diversity efforts?
What’s the role for various stakeholders to support K-12 diversity?
- Welcome: Sheryll Cashin, Georgetown Law/PRRAC; Greg Kelly, Penn State University
- Moderator: Erica Frankenberg, Penn State University; Panelists: Monique Lin-Luse,
NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Tanya Clay House, ClayHouse Consulting Inc.; Iman
Abdul, IntegrateNYC4me
10:15am Break
10:30-11:45am Technical Aspects of Designing Integrated Schools and Districts
(Location: McDonough 207)
• How do you create diverse schools and school systems?
• What do we know about what school districts are doing?
• How do you define diversity?
• What tools/resources are available to help schools & districts?
• How can choice be used to further integration?
- Moderator: Maree Sneed, Hogan Lovells; Panelists: Kendra Taylor & Jeremy Anderson,
Penn State University; Len Stevens; Barbara Dempsey, Jefferson County Public Schools;
Shaheena Simons, U.S. Department of Justice
2
11:45-12:45pm Lunch & Discussion about Cross-Sector Efforts to Further Diversity
Pick up lunches from Chapel Area, First Floor and return to McDonough 207
• How do education policies focused on integration intersect with housing? Transportation?
- Panelists: Phil Tegeler, PRRAC; Ariel Bierbaum, University of Maryland
1:00-2:15pm Breakout sessions
Magnet Schools (Location: McDonough 109)
- Facilitators: Jennifer Ayscue, Civil Rights Project & John Laughner, Magnet Schools
of America
Charter Schools (Location: McDonough 140)
- Facilitator: Amy Hawn Nelson, UNC-Charlotte
Between-District (Location: McDonough 110)
- Facilitator: Jeff Crane, West Irondequoit Central School District (New York)
2:15pm Break
2:30-3:45pm Political Aspects of Integration (Location: McDonough 207)
• How do you educate the community about the benefits of integration and the need for a
student assignment policy that considers diversity?
• How does student assignment policy fit as part of a comprehensive district effort towards
integration?
• How do you sustain commitment to diversity?
• How do you measure and define the effectiveness of diversity policies?
- Panelists: Kimberly Bridges, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Arlen BenjaminGomez,
Columbia University; John Brittain, University of DC Law School; Dennis
Parker, ACLU
3:45-4:30pm Moving Forward with Integration Efforts (Location: McDonough 207)
• What’s next for attendees in continuing diversity efforts?
• What resources and/or support are needed for continuing this work?
• How can the Center for Education and Civil Rights, National Coalition for School
Diversity, and other partners support this work?
- Facilitators: Liliana Garces, Penn State University & Tanya Clay House, ClayHouse
Consulting Inc.

 

Fort River School Building Committee
Description of Committee: On May 3, 2017, Amherst Town Meeting voted to borrow $250,000
“for the purpose of examining site and building feasibility and schematic design options for Fort
River School including: site, structural, and environmental analysis; implementation of a
community engagement process; formation of a school building committee; development of an
education program; selection of an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM ); initial schematic drawings
of selected preferred options; and initial schematic designs and independent cost estimates of
those designs.” The Amherst School Committee is working to form the School Building
Committee (SBC) to complete the work specified in the above Town Meeting article. The SBC
is responsible for decisions including hiring an Owner's Project Manager as well as an architect
and design team. It will oversee the evaluation of the Fort River site and current building
structure and work with designers to ensure that our district's educational goals inform the
schematic drawings of both new construction and renovation. Feasibility studies similar to this
one typically take 18 months to complete and will involve, at a minimum, monthly meetings as
well as work in between meetings.
Draft Fort River School Building Committee Membership
14 Voting Members
 Parent/guardians (3)
o SEPAC
o Fort River
o Parent/guardian at-large
 School-based staff members (3)
o Fort River
o Teacher at-large
o Fort River Principal or Vice-Principal
 Superintendent or his designee (1)
 Town Manager or his designee (1)
 Select Board member (1)
 Finance Committee member (1)
 School Committee member (1)
 Finance staff person from Town (1)
 Director of Facilities (1)
 Community member who is an architect (1)
SAMPLE SBC MEMBERSHIPS OF RECENT ELEMENTARY BUILDING PROJECTS
Zervas (non-MSBA) SBC, Newton, MA
11 Voting Members
Principal
Chief of Operations
City counselors (3)
School Committee members (2)
Deputy Superintendent
Deputy Commissioner, Public Buildings Dept.
Mayoral designee
Associate City Solicitor
(non-voting members: local architect, superintendent, chief procurement officer, mayor)
Hopkinton (successful 2nd vote)
8 Voting Members
Parent and former Planning Board member
Community member/grandparent with MSBA/construction background
Future parent with communications background
Community member with architectural experience
Select Board member
School Committee member
Town Finance staff member
School Finance staff member
(non-voting members: Town Manager, Superintendent, Director of Maintenance, Principal)
Bourne
13 Voting Members
Clerical staff member
Principal
Teacher
Director of Business Services
Town Administrator
Community member with construction experience (2)
School Committee member (2)
Superintendent
Finance Committee member
Select Board member
Community member
Hanover, MA (MSBA) Elementary School Project
11 Voting Members
School Committee members (2)
Town Manager
Superintendent
Facilities Engineer Manager
Finance Committee member
Director of Teaching and Learning
Community members (3)
Carver MA (MSBA)
13 Voting Members
Select Board member
Town Administrator
School Committee members (2)
Superintendent
Building Maintenance Director
Principal
Finance Committee member
Community members with architectural/construction experience (2)
School Business Manager
Representative of office authorized by law to construct school buildings
Parent
2. Enrollment Working Group:
The Amherst School Committee and Superintendent are forming an Enrollment Working Group
to identify enrollment challenges currently facing the district, identify possible solutions to those
challenges, and to investigate and develop realistic models of those solutions (with strengths and
drawbacks delineated) to share with the Amherst School Committee in December 2017. Some
of these challenges include socioeconomic balance between schools, bussing of special education
and income-eligible students, and preschool access. Membership in the Enrollment Working
Group will begin in July and end in December; the time commitment is fairly intensive during
that six month period. Three half-day workshops are planned for summer (July 13-14, August
22) during the day and September-December will involve meeting a minimum of four times in
the late afternoon/evening. A smaller (optional) subgroup focused on drafting a report will also
meet frequently in December. The Enrollment Working Group is an advisory group that will
endeavor to put forth realistic options for consideration by the School Committee and greater
Amherst community, but is not a decision-making body, nor will it make a formal
recommendation to the School Committee.
In addition to one or two School Committee members, the Superintendent, and the Assistant
Superintendent for Diversity, Equity, and Human Resources, the working group will have
membership from the following groups:
 Parent/guardians from each of the three Amherst elementary schools
 Representatives from SEPAC (special education parent advisory council)
 School Principal(s)
 Staff member from each of the three Amherst elementary schools

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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1905 FILED ON: 1/20/2017
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 223
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
_________________
PRESENTED BY:
Sonia Chang-Diaz
_________________
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:
An Act modernizing the foundation budget for the 21st century.
_______________
PETITION OF:
NAME: DISTRICT/ADDRESS:
Sonia Chang-Diaz Second Suffolk
Jack Lewis 7th Middlesex 1/26/2017
Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex 1/26/2017
Marjorie C. Decker 25th Middlesex 1/27/2017
Solomon Goldstein-Rose 3rd Hampshire 1/27/2017
Kenneth J. Donnelly Fourth Middlesex 1/30/2017
Leonard Mirra 2nd Essex
Daniel J. Ryan 2nd Suffolk 1/30/2017
Jose F. Tosado 9th Hampden 1/30/2017
David M. Rogers 24th Middlesex 1/30/2017
Peter J. Durant 6th Worcester 1/31/2017
Diana DiZoglio 14th Essex 1/31/2017
Russell E. Holmes 6th Suffolk
Brian M. Ashe 2nd Hampden 1/31/2017
Robert M. Koczera 11th Bristol 1/31/2017
James J. Dwyer 30th Middlesex 1/31/2017
Paul R. Heroux 2nd Bristol 1/31/2017
Chris Walsh 6th Middlesex 1/31/2017
2 of 24
James B. Eldridge Middlesex and Worcester 1/31/2017
Kenneth I. Gordon 21st Middlesex 1/31/2017
Jonathan Hecht 29th Middlesex 1/31/2017
Adam G. Hinds Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and
Hampden
1/31/2017
Mike Connolly 26th Middlesex 1/31/2017
Barbara A. L'Italien Second Essex and Middlesex 2/1/2017
Michael O. Moore Second Worcester 2/1/2017
William N. Brownsberger Second Suffolk and Middlesex 2/1/2017
Michael D. Brady Second Plymouth and Bristol 2/1/2017
Steven Ultrino 33rd Middlesex 2/1/2017
Jennifer L. Flanagan Worcester and Middlesex 2/2/2017
John F. Keenan Norfolk and Plymouth 2/2/2017
William L. Crocker, Jr. 2nd Barnstable 2/2/2017
Carolyn C. Dykema 8th Middlesex 2/2/2017
Bud Williams 11th Hampden 2/2/2017
Paul A. Schmid, III 8th Bristol 2/2/2017
Thomas M. McGee Third Essex 2/2/2017
Anne M. Gobi Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and
Middlesex
2/2/2017
Aaron Vega 5th Hampden 2/2/2017
RoseLee Vincent 16th Suffolk 2/2/2017
Thomas M. Stanley 9th Middlesex 2/2/2017
Michael J. Barrett Third Middlesex 2/2/2017
Byron Rushing 9th Suffolk 2/2/2017
Denise Provost 27th Middlesex 2/2/2017
Patricia D. Jehlen Second Middlesex 2/2/2017
Eileen M. Donoghue First Middlesex 2/2/2017
Michael S. Day 31st Middlesex 2/2/2017
Daniel Cullinane 12th Suffolk 2/2/2017
Jennifer E. Benson 37th Middlesex 2/2/2017
Juana Matias 16th Essex 2/2/2017
Joseph A. Boncore First Suffolk and Middlesex 2/2/2017
Kate D. Campanale 17th Worcester 2/3/2017
Paul W. Mark 2nd Berkshire 2/3/2017
Kay Khan 11th Middlesex 2/3/2017
James E. Timilty Bristol and Norfolk 2/3/2017
Linda Dorcena Forry First Suffolk 2/3/2017
Joan B. Lovely Second Essex 2/3/2017
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Cynthia S. Creem First Middlesex and Norfolk 2/3/2017
Natalie Higgins 4th Worcester 2/3/2017
Geoff Diehl 7th Plymouth 2/3/2017
Sal N. DiDomenico Middlesex and Suffolk 2/3/2017
Elizabeth A. Malia 11th Suffolk 2/3/2017
Todd M. Smola 1st Hampden 2/3/2017
Kevin J. Kuros 8th Worcester 2/3/2017
Peter V. Kocot 1st Hampshire 2/3/2017
Carmine L. Gentile 13th Middlesex 2/3/2017
Eric P. Lesser First Hampden and Hampshire 2/3/2017
Julian Cyr Cape and Islands 2/3/2017
Susan Williams Gifford 2nd Plymouth 2/3/2017
Mary S. Keefe 15th Worcester 2/3/2017
James J. O'Day 14th Worcester 2/3/2017
Tricia Farley-Bouvier 3rd Berkshire 2/3/2017
Donald R. Berthiaume, Jr. 5th Worcester 2/3/2017
Michelle M. DuBois 10th Plymouth 2/3/2017
Thomas A. Golden, Jr. 16th Middlesex 2/3/2017
Colleen M. Garry 36th Middlesex 2/3/2017
Paul Brodeur 32nd Middlesex 2/3/2017
William Smitty Pignatelli 4th Berkshire 2/3/2017
Nick Collins 4th Suffolk 2/3/2017
Carlos Gonzalez 10th Hampden 2/8/2017
Jonathan D. Zlotnik 2nd Worcester 3/3/2017
Marc R. Pacheco First Plymouth and Bristol 3/29/2017
John H. Rogers 12th Norfolk 4/3/2017
David F. DeCoste 5th Plymouth 4/7/2017
Frank A. Moran 17th Essex 4/7/2017
Kathleen O'Connor Ives First Essex 4/11/2017
Harriette L. Chandler First Worcester 4/13/2017
Sean Garballey 23rd Middlesex 5/30/2017
Patrick M. O'Connor Plymouth and Norfolk 6/1/2017
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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1905 FILED ON: 1/20/2017
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 223
By Ms. Chang-Diaz, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 223) of Sonia Chang-Diaz,
Jack Lewis, Jason M. Lewis, Marjorie C. Decker and other members of the General Court for
legislation to modernize the foundation budget for the 21st century. Education.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
_______________
In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)
_______________
An Act modernizing the foundation budget for the 21st century.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority
of the same, as follows:
1 SECTION 1. Chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition,
2 is hereby amended by inserting after section 5B the following section:-
3 Section 5B½. (a) Annually, not later than January 15, the secretary of administration and
4 finance shall meet with the house and senate committees on ways and means and jointly
5 determine an implementation schedule to fulfill the recommendations filed on November 2,
6 2015, by the foundation budget review commission established in section 4 of chapter 70. The
7 implementation schedule shall establish a foundation budget as defined in section 2 of said
8 chapter 70 and incorporating the recommendations made by the commission relative to the
9 categories of tuitioned-out special education rate, assumed in-school special education
10 enrollment, low-income increment, low-income enrollment, foundation benefits, retired
11 employee health insurance and English language learner increment; provided, however, that in
12 the first year of the term of office of a governor who has not served in the preceding year, the
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13 parties shall determine an implementation schedule not later than January 31 of that year. In
14 determining the implementation schedule, the secretary of administration and finance and the
15 house and senate committees on ways and means shall hold a public hearing and receive
16 testimony from the commissioner of elementary and secondary education and other interested
17 parties. The schedule may be amended by agreement of the house and senate committees on
18 ways and means in any fiscal year to reflect changes in enrollment, inflation, student populations
19 or other factors that would affect the remaining costs in the schedule. The implementation
20 schedule shall be included annually in a joint resolution and placed before the members of the
21 general court, not later than February 15, for their consideration along with any proposed
22 legislation necessary to execute and implement the schedule. The implementation schedule shall
23 be subject to appropriation. Upon completion of the implementation schedule, a joint resolution
24 shall be placed before the members of the general court affirming that the recommendations of
25 the commission have been fulfilled; provided that upon the adoption of such resolution the
26 determination of an annual implementation schedule shall no longer be required.
27 SECTION 2. Chapter 70 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section
28 2, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
29 Section 2. As used in this chapter and in chapters 15, 69 and 71, the following words
30 shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
31 "Administration allotment", the amounts allotted within a district's foundation budget for
32 administration in any fiscal year; provided, however, that the fiscal year 2017 administration
33 allotment, based on a sum of the following rate calculations, shall be the base year, adjusted
34 annually by the foundation inflation index:
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35 (i) $182.01 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
36 day kindergarten enrollment;
37 (ii) $364 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment, the foundation
38 elementary enrollment, the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment, the foundation
39 high school enrollment, and the foundation vocational enrollment; and
40 (iii) $2,512.26 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment and the
41 assumed tuitioned-out special education enrollment.
42 "Assumed in-school special education enrollment'', 4 per cent of the total foundation
43 enrollment in a district not including vocational or preschool enrollment, plus 5 per cent of
44 vocational enrollment.
45 "Assumed tuitioned-out special education enrollment'', 1 per cent of the total foundation
46 enrollment in a district, not including vocational or preschool enrollment.
47 “Base Aid”, in a fiscal year, the total amount of chapter 70 aid provided in the general
48 appropriation act of the previous fiscal year.
49 "Board'', the board of elementary and secondary education.
50 "Chapter 70 aid", the sum of a district's base aid, foundation aid increment, if any, and
51 minimum aid increment, if any, in a fiscal year; provided, however that non-operating district
52 shall receive chapter 70 aid in an amount greater than the district's foundation budget.
53 "Classroom and specialist teachers allotment", the amount allotted within a district's
54 foundation budget for classroom and specialist teachers in a fiscal year; provided, however, that
55 the fiscal year 2017 “classroom and specialist teachers allotment”, based on a sum of the
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56 following rate calculations, shall be the base year, adjusted annually by the foundation inflation
57 index:
58 (i) $1,507.26 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
59 day kindergarten enrollment;
60 (ii) $3,014.51 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment;
61 (iii) $3,014.47 multiplied by the foundation elementary enrollment;
62 (iv) $2,652.75 multiplied by the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment;
63 (v) $3, 901.09 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment;
64 (vi) $8,289.83 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment; and
65 (vii) $6,631.89 multiplied by the foundation vocational enrollment.
66 "Combined effort yield", the sum of a municipality's equalized property valuation
67 multiplied by the uniform property percentage and its income multiplied by the uniform income
68 percentage.
69 "Commissioner'', the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
70 "Department'', the department of elementary and secondary education.
71 "District'' or "School district'', the school department of a city or town or a regional
72 school district.
73 "Effort reduction percentage", the percentage of excess effort to be reduced in any given
74 year.
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75 "Employee benefits and fixed charges allotment", the amount allotted within a district's
76 foundation budget for employee benefits and fixed charges; provided, however, that for fiscal
77 year 2019 and thereafter, the employee benefits and fixed charges allotment shall be the
78 employee health insurance rate multiplied by the number of active employees for whom the
79 district provides health insurance, plus the retired employee health insurance rate multiplied by
80 the number of the district’s retired employees, plus the product of .29 and the sum of the
81 employee health insurance rate and the retired employee health insurance rate.
82 “Employee health insurance rate”, the employer share of the average group insurance
83 commission premium for all plans for the 3 previous fiscal years; provided, however, that the
84 group insurance commission shall annually, not later than June 30, provide the department with
85 data necessary for the determination of such rate or any increase thereof.
86 “English language learner enrollment”, the number of students identified as English
87 language learners pursuant to chapter 71A, including students enrolled in vocational and
88 technical schools.
89 “English language learner expanded program increment”, the amount allotted within a
90 district’s foundation budget for additional services for English language learners, including those
91 enrolled in vocational and technical schools; provided, however, that the increment for fiscal
92 year 2017 shall be $2,361 multiplied by the number of English language learners in the district,
93 adjusted annually thereafter by the foundation inflation index.
94 “Enrollment categories”, any of the following categories in which a student, including
95 students enrolled in special education programs and students attending a school in another
96 district, pursuant to section 12B of chapter 76, who resides in the district and who attends either
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97 a public school in that district or a school for which the district of residence pays tuition, is
98 placed; provided, however, that any such student shall be place in only 1 enrollment category
99 depending on the grade and program to which the student is assigned; provided further, that
100 English language learners and low-income students shall be placed in 1 of the following
101 enrollment categories and shall be counted for the purposes of calculating the English language
102 learners increment and the low-income expanded program increment:
103 (i) “elementary enrollment”, number of students enrolled in grades 1 to 5, inclusive, and
104 not enrolled in English language learner or vocational programs in a district;
105 (ii) “high school enrollment”, the number of students enrolled in grades 9 to 12,
106 inclusive, and not enrolled in English language learner or vocational programs in a district;
107 (iii) “junior high or middle school enrollment”, the number of students enrolled in grades
108 6 to 8, inclusive, and not enrolled in English language learner or vocational programs in a
109 district;
110 (iv) “kindergarten enrollment”, the number of students enrolled in kindergarten and not
111 enrolled in English language learner or vocational programs in a district; provided, however, that
112 in any district in which kindergarten students attend school for a full day in a program that does
113 not charge tuition or fees, the foundation kindergarten enrollment used to calculate the
114 foundation budget amount described in this section shall be 2 times the kindergarten enrollment
115 number that would otherwise be used for such calculations if the district and all towns
116 responsible for appropriating for the district so request;
117 (v) “preschool enrollment”, the number of students enrolled in preschool programs in a
118 district; and
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119 (vi) “vocational enrollment”, the number of students enrolled in vocational, education
120 programs or an agricultural school in a district.
121 “Equalized property valuation”, the most recent equalized property valuation for a
122 municipality as determined by the department of revenue pursuant to sections 9, 10 and 10C of
123 chapter 58.
124 "Excess effort", the positive difference, if any, between a municipality's target local
125 contribution and its preliminary contribution.
126 "Foundation aid increment", the positive difference between a district's foundation budget
127 and its required district contribution; provided, however, that from fiscal years 2019 to 2025,
128 inclusive, both the district foundation budget and the required district contribution shall be
129 calculated based on the implementation schedule agreed to pursuant to section 5B ½ of chapter
130 29.
131 "Foundation budget'', the sum of the administration allotment, instructional leadership
132 allotment, classroom and specialist teachers allotment, other teaching services allotment,
133 professional development allotment, instructional materials, equipment and technology
134 allotment, guidance and psychological allotment, pupil services allotment, operations and
135 maintenance allotment, employee benefits and fixed charges allotment and tuitioned-out special
136 education tuition allotment and the English language learners expanded program increment and
137 the low-income expanded program increment; provided, however, that the base year for
138 calculating the foundation budget shall be fiscal year 2017; provided further, that the base year
139 foundation budget shall be calculated according to the formulas in this section using foundation
140 enrollment as described in this section; and provided further that, for fiscal years thereafter, the
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141 foundation budget shall be the base year foundation budget, as adjusted for enrollment and for
142 inflation as set forth in section 3.
143 "Foundation enrollment'', the student enrollment of a district in any fiscal year; provided,
144 however, that the “foundation enrollment” shall be the sum of the foundation kindergarten,
145 elementary, junior high or middle school, high school and vocational enrollment plus 1/2 of the
146 foundation preschool enrollment, including students enrolled in the program for the elimination
147 of racial imbalance under section 12A of chapter 76; and provided further, that annually, not
148 later than March 1 of each calendar year, the department shall certify the foundation enrollment
149 for the next fiscal year as the actual enrollment as reported the previous October.
150 "Foundation inflation index'', in fiscal year 2017, the foundation inflation index shall
151 equal 1.000; provided, however, that in fiscal year 2018 and in each fiscal year thereafter, the
152 foundation inflation index shall equal the prior year's foundation inflation index multiplied by the
153 minimum of: (i) the ratio of the value of the implicit price deflator for state and local government
154 purchases in the first quarter of the prior fiscal year to its value in the first quarter of the year 2
155 years prior; or (ii) 1.045.
156 "General revenue sharing aid'', the amount of assistance from the commonwealth to be
157 received by a city or town in a fiscal year from the following local aid programs: (i) payments in
158 lieu of taxes for state-owned lands distributed pursuant to section 17 of chapter 58; (ii) the
159 distribution to cities and towns of the balance of the State Lottery and Gaming Fund in
160 accordance with the clause (c) of the second paragraph of section 35 of chapter 10; and (iii)
161 additional assistance distributed pursuant to section 18E of chapter 58.
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162 "Guidance and psychological allotment", the amount allotted within a district's
163 foundation budget for guidance and psychological services; provided, however, that the fiscal
164 year 2017 guidance and psychological allotment, based on a sum of the following rate
165 calculations, shall be the base year, adjusted annually by the foundation inflation index:
166 (i) $109.66 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
167 day kindergarten enrollment;
168 (ii) $219.36 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment and the
169 foundation elementary enrollment;
170 (iii) $291.99 multiplied by foundation junior high or middle school enrollment; and
171 (iv) $366.02 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment and the foundation
172 vocational enrollment.
173 "Income", total income from all sources as reported by the residents of a municipality on
174 income tax returns submitted to the department of revenue for the most recent available calendar
175 year.
176 "Income percentage", the uniform percentage of each municipality's total income which
177 yields 1/2 of the statewide total of combined effort yields in any fiscal year.
178 "Instructional leadership allotment", the amounts allotted within a district's foundation
179 budget for instructional leadership in a fiscal year; provided, however, that for fiscal year 2017,
180 the “instructional leadership allotment” shall be the sum of the following rate calculations; and
181 provided further, that for subsequent fiscal years, “instructional leadership allotment” shall be the
182 sum of the following rates annually adjusted by the foundation inflation index:
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183 (i) $328.72 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
184 day kindergarten enrollment; and
185 (ii) $657.42 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment, the foundation
186 elementary enrollment, the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment, the foundation
187 high school enrollment and the foundation vocational enrollment.
188 "Instructional materials, equipment and technology allotment", the amount allotted within
189 a district's foundation budget for instructional materials, equipment and technology; provided,
190 however, that the fiscal year 2017 instructional materials, equipment and technology allotment,
191 based on a sum of the following rate calculations, shall be the base year, adjusted annually by the
192 foundation inflation index:
193 (i) $ 218.16 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
194 day kindergarten enrollment;
195 (ii) $436.31 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment, the foundation
196 elementary enrollment and the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment;
197 (iii) $698.10 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment;
198 (iv) $349.05 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment; and
199 (v) $1,221.66 multiplied by the foundation vocational enrollment.
200 "Low-income enrollment'', the number of children attending school in a district regardless
201 of residence or tuition-paying status, with a family income at or below 185 per cent of the federal
202 poverty level; provided, however, that a low-income child or low-income student shall mean a
203 child who meets these eligibility standards; and provided further, that in determining the total
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204 number of low-income students, the department shall use the preceding year's actual number of
205 low-income elementary, junior high or middle school, high school and vocational students and ½
206 of the preceding year's actual number of low-income kindergarten and preschool students.
207 “Low-income expanded program increment”, the amount allotted within a district’s
208 foundation budget for each student with a family income at or below 185 per cent of the federal
209 poverty level; provided, however, that the department shall rank each district and divide the
210 districts into septiles; provided further, that each district shall be assigned a low-income septile
211 based on its low income percentage which shall be calculated as its number of low-income
212 students divided by the total foundation enrollment; provided further, that each septile shall be
213 assigned a low-income rate where the rate for the lowest percentage septile shall be $3,474 and
214 each subsequent septile shall increase by equal amounts up to the highest percentage septile rate
215 of $8,179; and provided further, that the rates for each septile shall be annually adjusted
216 according to the foundation inflation index.
217 “Minimum aid”, the positive difference between a district’s foundation aid, and the
218 product of $25 multiplied by the district foundation enrollment.
219 "Maximum local contribution", 82.5 per cent of a municipality's foundation budget.
220 "Municipal foundation budget", a city or town's local district's foundation budget plus the
221 sum of its share of the foundation budgets at regional districts or at agricultural schools of which
222 it is a member; provided, however, that a city or town's share of the foundation budget at
223 regional districts or at agricultural schools shall be based upon its share of the total foundation
224 enrollment from all member municipalities at those districts and schools.
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225 "Municipal revenue growth factor'', the change in local general revenues calculated by
226 subtracting 1 from the quotient calculated by dividing the sum of: (i) the maximum levy for the
227 fiscal year estimated by multiplying the levy limit of the prior fiscal year by a factor equal to 102
228 ½ per cent plus the average of the percentage increases in the levy limit due to new growth
229 adjustments over the last 3 available years as certified by the department of revenue or as
230 otherwise estimated by the division of local services in the department of revenue where it
231 appears that a municipality may not be entitled to increase its minimum levy limit by 2 ½ per
232 cent; provided, however, that if the highest percentage during such 3 years exceeds the average
233 of the other 2 years' percentages by more than 2 percentage points, then the lowest 3 of the last 4
234 years shall be used for such calculation; (ii) the amount of general revenue sharing aid for the
235 fiscal year; and (iii) other budgeted recurring receipts not including user fees or other charges
236 determined by the division of local services to be associated with the provision of specific
237 municipal services for the prior fiscal year, by the sum of: (1) the actual levy limit for the prior
238 fiscal year; (2) the amount of general revenue sharing aid received for the prior fiscal year; and
239 (3) other recurring receipts not including user fees or other charges determined by the division of
240 local services to be associated with the provision of specific municipal services budgeted by the
241 municipality for the fiscal year preceding the prior fiscal year, if any; provided further, that for
242 the purposes of this calculation, the levy limit shall exclude any amounts generated by overrides
243 applicable to any year after the fiscal year ending June 30, 1993; provided further, that in the
244 absence of an actual levy limit for the prior fiscal year, the actual levy limit for the prior fiscal
245 year shall be estimated by multiplying the actual levy limit of the fiscal year preceding the prior
246 fiscal year by a factor equal to 102 ½ per cent plus the average of the percentage increases in the
247 levy limit due to new growth as specified above; and provided further, that in making any of
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248 these required calculations, the division of local services may substitute more current
249 information or such other information as would produce a more accurate estimate of the change
250 in a municipality's general local revenues and the department shall use such growth factor to
251 calculate preliminary contribution, required local contribution and any other factors that directly
252 or indirectly use the municipal growth factor.
253 "Net school spending'', the total amount spent for the support of public education,
254 including teacher salary deferrals and tuition payments for children residing in the district who
255 attend a school in another district or other approved facility, determined without regard to
256 whether such amounts are regularly charged to school or non-school accounts by the
257 municipality for accounting purposes; provided, however, that net school spending shall not
258 include any spending for long-term debt service, and shall not include spending for school
259 lunches and student transportation; provided further that “net school spending” shall also not
260 include tuition revenue or revenue from activity, admission, other charges or any other revenue
261 attributable to public education; provided further, that such revenue shall be made available to
262 the school district which generated the revenue in addition to any financial resources made
263 available by municipalities or state assistance; provided further, that the department, in
264 consultation with the department of revenue, shall promulgate regulations to ensure a uniform
265 method of determining which municipal expenditures shall be appropriated for the support of
266 public education and which revenues are attributable to public education in accordance with this
267 section; and provided further, that the regulations shall include provisions for resolving disputes
268 which may arise between municipal and school officials.
269 "Operations and maintenance allotment", the amount allotted within a district's
270 foundation budget for operations and maintenance; provided, however, that the fiscal year 2017
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271 operations and maintenance allotment, based on a sum of the following rate calculations, shall be
272 the base year, adjusted annually by the foundation inflation index:
273 (i) $418.55 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
274 day kindergarten enrollment;
275 (ii) $837.09 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment and the
276 foundation elementary enrollment;
277 (iii) $907.52 multiplied by foundation junior high or middle school enrollment;
278 (iv) $879.93 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment;
279 (v) $2,806.32 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment; and
280 (vi) $1,646.82 multiplied by the foundation vocational enrollment.
281 “Other teaching services allotment”, the amount allotted within a district's foundation
282 budget for other teaching services; provided, however, that the fiscal year 2017 other teaching
283 services allotment, based on a sum of the following rate calculations, shall be the base year,
284 adjusted annually by the foundation inflation index:
285 (i) $386.57 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-
286 day kindergarten enrollment;
287 (ii) $773.16 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment and the
288 foundation elementary enrollment;
289 (iii) $556.55 multiplied by the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment;
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290 (iv) $463.34 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment and the foundation
291 vocational enrollment;
292 (v) $7,740.10 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment; and
293 (vi) $38.38 multiplied by the assumed tuitioned-out special education enrollment.
294 “Preliminary contribution”, the product of: (i) a municipality's required local contribution
295 for the prior fiscal year; and (ii) 1 plus the municipal revenue growth factor for the current year;
296 provided, however, that if a municipality's preliminary local contribution as a percentage of its
297 foundation budget is more than 2.5 percentage points lower than the target local share, the
298 preliminary contribution shall be recalculated using the municipality's revenue growth factor plus
299 1 percentage point; and provided further, that if a municipality's preliminary contribution as a
300 percentage of its foundation budget is more than 7.5 percentage points lower than the target local
301 share, the preliminary contribution shall be recalculated using the municipality's revenue growth
302 factor plus 2 percentage points.
303 “Professional development allotment", the amount allotted within a district's foundation
304 budget for professional development; provided, however, that the fiscal year 2017 professional
305 development allotment, based on a sum of the following rate calculations, shall be the base year,
306 adjusted annually by the foundation inflation index:
307 (i) $59.61 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-day
308 kindergarten enrollment;
309 (ii) $119.28 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment;
310 (iii) $119.30 multiplied by the foundation elementary enrollment;
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311 (iv) $129.32 multiplied by the foundation junior high or middle school enrollment;
312 (v) $125.39 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment;
313 (vi) $399.90 multiplied by the assumed in-school special education enrollment; and
314 (vii) $207.31 multiplied by the foundation vocational enrollment.
315 "Property percentage", the uniform percentage of each municipality's total equalized
316 property valuation which yields ½ of the statewide total of combined effort yields in any fiscal
317 year.
318 "Pupil services allotment", the amount allotted within a district's foundation budget for
319 pupil services; provided, however, that the fiscal year 2017 pupil services allotment, based on a
320 sum of the following rate calculations, shall be the base year, adjusted annually by the
321 foundation inflation index:
322 (i) $43.62 multiplied by the foundation preschool enrollment and the foundation half-day
323 kindergarten enrollment;
324 (ii) $87.27 multiplied by the foundation full-day kindergarten enrollment;
325 (iii) $130.90 multiplied by the foundation elementary enrollment and the foundation
326 English learner, full-day enrollment;
327 (iv) $213.81 multiplied by foundation junior high or middle school enrollment; and
328 (v) $493.03 multiplied by the foundation high school enrollment and the foundation
329 vocational enrollment.
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330 "Required district contribution", a local district's share of the municipality's required local
331 contribution or, in a regional district or agricultural school, the sum of the member
332 municipalities' required local contributions apportioned to that regional district or agricultural
333 school.
334 "Required local contribution", the municipality's preliminary contribution minus the
335 product of its excess effort, if any, multiplied by the effort reduction percentage; provided,
336 however, that the “required local contribution” shall be apportioned to each district to which the
337 municipality belongs, in proportion to the municipality's foundation budget at those districts.
338 “Retired employee”, an employee of a school district who retired while employed by that
339 district and who receives health insurance benefits through that district.
340 “Retired employee health insurance rate”, the average group insurance commission
341 premium for all retiree plans for the 3 previous fiscal years; provided, however, that the group
342 insurance commission shall annually, not later than June 30, provide the department with data
343 necessary for the determination of such rate or any increase thereof.
344 "Statewide target local share", the sum of all municipalities' target local contribution, as a
345 percentage of the sum of all municipal foundation budgets, which shall be set at 59 per cent.
346 "Target aid share", for a local district, 100 per cent minus the municipality's target local
347 share; provided, however, that for a regional district or agricultural school, the “target aid share”
348 shall be 100 per cent minus each member municipality's target local share, multiplied by each
349 municipality's share of the regional district's enrollment, summed for all members of the district.
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350 "Target local contribution", the lesser of a municipality's combined effort yield and its
351 maximum local contribution.
352 "Target local share", a municipality's target local contribution as a percentage of its
353 municipal foundation budget.
354 “Tuitioned-out special education allotment”, the product of the tuitioned-out special
355 education rate and the assumed tuitioned-out special education enrollment.
356 “Tuitioned-out special education rate”, 3 times the statewide foundation budget per-pupil
357 amount.
358 "Wage adjustment factor'', an adjusted difference between the average annual wage for
359 all jobs in the labor market area in which a municipality is located and the average annual wage
360 in the commonwealth; provided, however, that average annual wage figures shall be published
361 annually by the division of employment and training; provided further, that the wage adjustment
362 factor shall be the sum of 1 plus a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the product of 1/3
363 and the difference resulting from subtracting the average annual wage in the commonwealth
364 from the average annual wage of the municipality, and the denominator of which shall be the
365 average annual wage in the commonwealth; and provided further, that the average annual wage
366 of the municipality shall be the sum of:
367 (i) .8 multiplied by the average annual wage for all jobs in the labor market area in which
368 the municipality is located; and
369 (ii) .2 multiplied by the average annual wage of the municipality; provided, however, the
370 wage adjustment factor in any community shall not be less than 1.
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371 SECTION 3. The third paragraph of section 3 of said chapter 70, as so appearing, is
372 hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 2
373 sentences:- The factors to be inflated by the foundation inflation index shall be the monetary
374 values for the administration allotment, the instructional leadership allotment, the classroom and
375 specialist teachers allotment, the other teaching services allotment, the professional development
376 allotment, the instructional materials, equipment and technology allotment, the guidance and
377 psychological allotment, the pupil services allotment, the operations and maintenance allotment,
378 the English language learner expanded program increment and the low-income student expanded
379 program increment. The rates established in section 2 shall serve as the basis, subject to the
380 foundation inflation index beginning in fiscal year 2018, for the implementation schedule
381 established annually under section 5B1/2 of chapter 29.
382 SECTION 4. Said chapter 70 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 4 the
383 following section:-
384 Section 4A. (a) The department, in consultation with the executive office of education,
385 shall a convene data advisory committee to promote the improved use of school-level data to
386 inform effective resource allocation decisions at the local level. The data advisory committee
387 shall include, but not be limited to, a representative from the following organizations: the
388 Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc.; the Massachusetts Association of School
389 Superintendents, Inc.; the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials, Inc.; the
390 Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators, Inc.; and the Massachusetts
391 Association of Regional Schools, Inc. The data advisory committee shall assist the department to
392 identify, advise and analyze cost-effective ways to achieve the following goals including, but not
393 limited to:
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394 (i) streamlining financial reporting, eliminating duplicate reporting requirements and
395 improving data quality;
396 (ii) strengthening the department’s capacity to analyze and report staffing, scheduling and
397 financial data in ways that support strategic resource allocation decisions at the district and
398 school level;
399 (iii) strengthening district capacity to use data to make strategic resource allocation
400 decisions; and
401 (iv) establishing a data collection and reporting system that:
402 (1) tracks funding allocated for English language learner and low-income students to
403 ensure that spending is targeted to the intended populations and to provide a data source for the
404 foundation budget review commission about the accuracy and adequacy of the low-income and
405 English language learner increments; and
406 (2) allows for access to school-level expenditures and data across all districts to inform
407 the public and policy-makers about effective school-level interventions and investments.
408 (b) The data advisory committee shall report its progress to the board, the senate and
409 house chairs of the joint committee on education and the chairs of the senate and house
410 committees on ways and means not less than semiannually, by December 1 and June 1, and shall
411 make recommendations as necessary for the department to achieve the goals of this section. The
412 department may, in consultation with the data advisory group, develop or procure the data
413 collection and reporting system under clause (iv) of subsection (a).
414 SECTION 5. Section 5 of said chapter 70 is hereby repealed.
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415 SECTION 6. Section 6 of said chapter 70, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is
416 hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the word "minimum".
417 SECTION 7. Said section 6 of said chapter 70, as so appearing, is hereby further
418 amended by striking out, in line 8, the words "but not including equity aid,".
419 SECTION 8. Section 7 of said chapter 70 is hereby repealed.
420 SECTION 9. Section 9 of said chapter 70 is hereby repealed.
421 SECTION 10. Said chapter 70 is hereby further amended by striking out section 10, as
422 appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
423 Section 10. Subject to appropriation, the amount of state aid to be paid to each
424 municipality in each fiscal year under this chapter shall be the sum of the base aid, the
425 foundation aid increment and the minimum aid to which the municipality may be entitled under
426 this chapter.
Subcommittee Assignments
2017-2018
AMHERST ONLY:
Amherst Education Foundation (AEF):
Audit Committee for Town of Amherst:
Amherst Community Television (ACTV) Liaison:
Budget Coordinating Group:
Joint Capital Planning Committee for Town of Amherst:
Town Meeting Members: All serve as voting ex-officio members

Production Date: 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Amherst School Committee

The Amherst School Committee is responsible for the operations of the elementary schools, Pre-K to 6, which serve students from the Town of Amherst. These schools include Crocker Farm, Fort River, Marks Meadow, and Wildwood.