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Budget Summary FY2017

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Outside Section 165
Data Current as of:  8/9/2016

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Low-Income Student Calculation Study

SECTION 165.   The department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the executive office for administration and finance and the executive office of health and human services, shall conduct a study on the calculation of low-income students within public school districts as it relates to determining the number of low-income students in the distribution of funding pursuant to chapters 70 and 76 of the General Laws. The study may include, but not be limited to:

(i) the current methodology for determining low-income students and alternatives for adjusting the methodology based on best practices in other states;

(ii) the possible effects of adjusting the methodology, including overall low-income student counts, projected low-income counts for school districts and both foundation budget and state funding level impacts for school districts;

(iii) measures to identify eligible low-income students who qualify under the current methodology but who would not qualify under any proposed alternatives;

(iv) the effects of adjusting the methodology on school building authority reimbursement rates;

(v) data that is currently collected that could be used to identify low-income students;

(vi) considerations of eligible low-income students identified through programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, transitional assistance for families with dependent children, the department of children and families' foster care program and the MassHealth program;

(vii) identification of all relevant data fields currently collected within each of the applicable databases in the commonwealth and determine additional data needed in each of the databases that would improve the ability of the systems to generate successful direct certification matches including, but not limited to, expanded use of the State Assigned Student Identifier and additional name fields and recommendations for implementing any necessary changes to data fields included in the databases;

(viii) recommended methods to ensure that direct certification shall include all applicable commonwealth programs;

(ix) determination of the steps necessary to identify matches within the Medicaid database;

(x) analysis of the format in which data are received and reviewed by schools and school districts and the procedures used by schools and school districts to review the data to determine ways to simplify procedures for direct certification and the resolution of partial matches at the local level; and

(xi) policies adopted by other states in the implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296, as it relates to the calculation of low-income or economically-disadvantaged students in a state funding formula.

The report, and any accompanying recommendations, shall be filed with the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than December 19, 2016.