Financing Public Education for Montague Students
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Like other municipalities in our region, funding for public education makes up a large part of our town's annual budget. We contribute directly to two public school districts: The Franklin County Technical School and the Gill-Montague Regional School District. Each of these districts has its own school committee, professional staff, and budget development process.
The Franklin County Technical School serves students in grades 9-12 from 19 member towns, including Montague. The Town of Montague pays FCTS an annual assessment based on the number of students residing in Montague who are currently enrolled.
The Gill-Montague Regional School District serves Montague students from preK to grade 12 (as well as students from Gill, Erving, and other communities.) The towns of Montague and Gill each pay an annual assessment to GMRSD and the district includes those funds in a budget that is used to operate 5 schools: Gill Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Sheffield Elementary, Great Fall Middle School, and Turners Falls High School. The GMRSD budget also includes costs associated with resident students who "choice out" to other public schools (including charter schools), and out-of-district placements for students who require services or supports beyond what GMRSD can provide.
Since 2010, the Gill-Montague Regional School District's annual budget development process has been guided by a local agreement called "The Compact for Funding Education," also known as "the affordable assessment."
"The 'Affordable Assessment': A History and Update" describes how the towns of Montague and Gill worked with the GMRSD to forge this agreement, and includes a review of how the projections developed in 2009 compare with actual budgets, state aid, and local assessments through 2019.