Change Indicator

Economically disadvantaged students by school district (2015-2020) in Massachusetts

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Why This Indicator Matters

Education funding reforms that could help children in all of our communities reach their full potential would expand opportunity now and play an important role in strengthening our economy in the long run. The education funding formula (“Chapter 70”) has not been systematically updated in twenty-five years, and it fails to provide the funding needed for school districts to fund core expenses. In wealthier districts, local taxes have been able to fill gaps, allowing schools to provide the educational supports and opportunities students need to succeed. In school districts with larger numbers of low-income (“economically disadvantaged”) students, the amounts schools are able to spend on core expenses are well below what is needed. See MassBudget’s report, Building an Education System that Works for Everyone: Funding Reforms to Help All Our Children Thrive.

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Definition and Source



Economically disadvantaged data are based on a student's participation in one or more of the following state-administered programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC); the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program; and students in families up to 133% of the federal poverty level enrolled in MassHealth (Medicaid). Counts come from computerized data matches of school enrollment rosters with these specific program membership lists.


NA – Data not available for this district for this year (such as before the district was created, or after two districts merged).

S – Data suppressed when the number is less than 10.

Data Source

From the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Selected Populations Report


Data as of October of the given school year.

Updated May 2020 with data from January 2020.

Last Updated

May 2020