What is State Aid to the Budget?
  • Funding for education aid – commonly referred to as Chapter 70 – is part of the annual state budget. Chapter 70 aid is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ primary program for distributing its portion of K-12 public education funding to the state’s local and regional school districts. It is allocated to each individual town from the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) based on a formula. You can find the inputs to the formula and the full Chapter 70 calculations on the DESE website.  
  • In Andover, Chapter 70 aid is not provided directly to the school department. It is included as one of several line items in revenue receipts to the Town of Andover from the state, along with other smaller aid amounts (such as aid for general government spending, veterans benefits, library assistance, Chapter 90 roadway programs, etc.). You can find information on the state receipts to each town published in “cherry sheets”, which is an annual estimate of state aid and assessments to be used by assessors in the local budget process. Andover’s annual “cherry sheet” is linked here or available on the Department of Revenue’s Division of Labor Services website. 

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1. What is the overall process for the school district’s operating budget?
2. What is the School Committee policy that guides the budget process?
3. What is State Aid to the Budget?
4. How much is the FY25 budget for APS?
5. What is the timeline for the FY25 operating budget process?
6. Why is there a deficit in the FY25 operating budget?
7. What can be done to alleviate the deficit?
8. How much of the annual operating budget is allocated to salaries and compensation?
9. How many positions will be eliminated? If there are positions eliminated or cut, will they all be teachers and instructional assistants?
10. How else will you try to balance the budget?
11. The district recently saw a decrease or elimination in some fees, will these fees increase again?
12. How does the budget relate to enrollment numbers at APS?
13. Over the next ten years is there a model for enrollment rate of students at APS?
14. How is the budget aligned to the class sizes at APS? Will our classes be overcrowded as a result of the budget deficit?
15. Doesn’t the town have enough money to cover the deficit? Why doesn’t the School Committee ask for more money from the town?
16. What is the town and district’s long-range financial planning model?
17. Why can’t we use the town’s 'Free Cash'?
18. Why can’t Excess Levy Capacity be used?
19. Were the Andover Education Association’s negotiating teams aware that the November 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreements might impact staffing levels at APS?
20. Has the district added additional administrative or non-student facing staff in recent years? Don’t these salaries make up a large portion of the operating budget?
21. I keep hearing about coaches for educators and executive directors for instruction at the elementary and secondary levels. What role do they play?
22. Why do I keep hearing about the DESE Comprehensive District Review? How does that inform the budget process?