BUCKLAND, MA – Facing a 15 percent increase in mandated payments for charter school tuition, Mohawk Trail Regional School District officials say the state funding formula for charter schools is undermining rural school systems like Mohawk.
With full support from the School Committee, board member Martha Thurber has sent Gov. Charlie Baker a letter saying the rural school systems are facing the double whammy of rising per-pupil school costs as the general enrollment declines – and then having a state mandate to pay that higher per-pupil cost for charter school tuition, regardless of what it costs the charter school to educate its students.
As Mohawk’s student populations decreases, its per-pupil costs rise, because of fixed costs and the teachers who must still be paid to educate a smaller number of students. But the more money Mohawk spends per-pupil, the more it must pay for their charter school tuition, according to state regulations, requiring sending districts to pay their own per-pupil-cost for each charter school student. Next school year, for instance, Mohawk will pay $843,834 for 52 charter school students, which is a $108,834 increase over what was paid this current year.