Budget Information

February 2019


Dear Ashland School Committee and the Ashland Community, 

I am pleased to present you with an Executive Summary of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY’20) Superintendent’s Recommended Operating Budget (below).  It is designed to provide you with a broad view of the budget, yet you will find some specific and detailed explanations as to why certain requests are being made.  I hope it is clear, concise, and allows you to fully understand the recommended budget.  

The development of the FY’20 (the 2019-20 School Year) budget began in earnest in November with principals, directors and the entire administrative team conducting a detailed review of staffing, enrollment projections, needs of individual schools and each budgetary line item.  Our administrative team also participated in a budgeting workshop with the School Committee on December 15, 2018 to discuss District priorities to ensure the budget aligns with our community’s values and our Blueprint for Continuous Student Improvement (See Appendix 2).  I believe this budget will continue to move the Ashland Public Schools forward.   

The first thing you will likely notice is the budget request calls for an increase of about 8.27% or $2.5 million dollars from FY’19.  You may be wondering: How is it possible for the Town to afford such a large increase to the APS budget?  The simple answer is in FY’20, it is expected that the Chapter 70 funding, which is educational funding from the State to the Town, will increase significantly.  This proposed significant increase, in conjunction with the agreed upon 3.75% increase from the Town, puts Ashland in a position to make some substantial and much needed investment in our schools. 


As many of our residents know, Ashland has been negatively impacted in the past by the Chapter 70 funding formula.  This year, however, it is expected the Town will finally benefit from recommended changes.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the increase in Chapter 70 funding, in essence “Recalibrating or Resetting” the Chapter 70 funding for Ashland for FY ’20 and beyond.  These changes include: 

1.      Adjustments to the State Foundation Budget Formula.

2.      Increased funding due to the change in Ashland’s demographics:

      The number of students included in the Chapter 70 funding formula increased by 183 students from FY’19 to FY’20.  Our commitment to providing tuition free full-day kindergarten was responsible for adding 124 of those students to the formula.

      Our Economically Disadvantaged students increased by 30 students from FY’19 to FY’20.

      Our English-Language Learners increased by 23 students from FY’19 to FY’20.


With the increase in educational funding from the state, the Ashland Public Schools will be able address some of the critical needs across the District.  The District will be able to continue our investment in specialized programming to control our Special Education Out-of-District costs, increase electives at AHS, support our youngest students who struggle with literacy, and meet State mandates for educating our English Language

Learner population.  You can find a description of all recommended positions on Appendix 3 of this document.

Our community’s expectations for our schools are at an all-time high.  The increases included in this year’s recommended budget allow us to continue the progress we have made over the past several years.  At the same time, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to share with the community that even with this recommended budget, Ashland still spends significantly less per-pupil than most Districts in our area and across the Commonwealth. 

I hope this summary will assist you in fully understanding what is required to operate the Ashland Public Schools. On behalf of the Ashland Public Schools and our entire faculty and staff, I thank the citizens of Ashland for your continued support.


Be well, 

James E. Adams signature (Superintedent of Schools)

James E. Adams, Superintendent of Schools 

Executive Summary Report

Budget Reports  (Budget Category Definitions)   

FY20 Proposed Staffing



(James Adams) Superintendent Contract                                                     
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2025

August 11, 2014 - June 30, 2021

Ashland Educators Association Contract    
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020    
AEA Unit B - Educational Support Personnel Contract    
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020     
AEA Nurses Unit Contract    
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020    
Nutrition Services Personnel Contract    
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022     
Ashland School Custodians and Maintenance Workers    
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021    
Ashland Secretaries Unit Contract
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020