Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2QQQQ, as appearing in section 14 of chapter 359 of the acts of 2014, the following section:-
Section 2RRRR. (a) There shall be established and set upon the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Unfunded Student Reserve Fund to be expended, without further appropriation, by the department of elementary and secondary education. The fund shall consist of public and private sources, which may include appropriations, gifts, grants and donations, interest earned on such revenues and any funds provided from other sources. Revenues deposited in the fund that are unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditure in the following fiscal year.
(b) The board of elementary and secondary education, as trustee, shall administer the fund and shall make expenditures from the fund consistent with this section; provided, however, that the fund ought to maintain a balance of no less than $2,000,000 nor more the an $30,000,000; and provided further, that no more than 8 per cent of the amounts held in the fund in any 1 fiscal year shall be used by the board for the costs of administering the fund.
(c) The Unfunded Student Reserve Fund shall be used to reimburse school districts receiving a large number of new students over the course of the fiscal year, the cost of which may not reasonably be anticipated for the purposes of calculating the foundation enrollment and foundation budget for each district pursuant to chapter 70.
(d) The board of elementary and secondary education shall establish a process through regulation by which districts shall apply to and receive reimbursement from the fund. The process shall, at a minimum, require that: (1) a district may only receive reimbursement from the fund if the district has a net enrollment of more than 100 new students between October 1 of the previous year and March 1 of the year in which the district is applying; (2) the application deadline shall be March 1 of each year; (3) reimbursement shall be provided on or before April 15 of each year; and (4) reimbursement shall be equal to (i) the state portion of the foundation budget for the current fiscal year for each new pupil enrolled between October 1 of the previous year and March 1 of the year in which the district is applying, or (ii) a pro-rated amount, determined by the board of elementary and secondary education, based on available funds and the number of students across the commonwealth who qualify for such funding.
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