JQ-1: FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The School Committee authorizes a centralized application process to provide families with financial assistance for certain school related fees. The Superintendent will provide a centralized financial assistance application process for families seeking relief from various program fees. The income distribution will be based on the statistics of the number of households who are on the margin of economic stability and recognition of the high housing costs and property tax in Lexington.
Financial Assistance will be offered system wide and includes Transportation, Athletics, School Lunch, Instrumental Music, and all other program and field trip fees. Other fees include but are not limited to curriculum-based field trip expenses, Lexington Children’s Center Tuition, and other fees the school department may charge that are as a result of curriculum requirements.
Administration shall develop procedures to:
- Implement an objective financial assistance program and application process for all students and families;
- Allow families a single point of contact and determination within the school district;
- Adhere to a standard of confidentiality throughout the district. Submitted financial information shall follow USDA Free and Reduced Lunch Guidelines and related state privacy laws in the collection, handling, and disseminating of information regarding the financial status of students;
Fees shall not be waived, refunded, or pro-rated without the knowledge and consent of the School Business Administrator, and only if the individual program costs for which the fee was charged are fully covered.
The Homeless Liaison shall maintain a list and provide an update as necessary to the School Business Administrator of all students who have been determined to qualify for services under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Principals, Guidance/School Counselors, and all other employees are prohibited from making a determination of financial need outside of the Superintendent’s established process.
The School Committee Financial Assistance program shall use the US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines and expand it by a multiplier to better match our community’s income level and assist families that are above the Free and Reduced Lunch Guidelines with school fees that are assessed for a variety of activities. The School Committee has made the following determination for income eligibility for financial assistance.
The Financial Assistance Program does NOT include optional field trips or student travel programs, including overnight trips. There is typically no funding source for monetary assistance for these programs due to the nature of each participant paying their own way. The program leaders for these optional student trips may know of a funding source that will be providing monetary assistance. However, if there is no funding source for monetary assistance, the student is responsible for the full cost of the trip. The school department is not responsible for finding the monetary assistance for the student if there are none readily available. Families who request funding assistance must have a determination from their submitted financial assistance application in order to receive any funding assistance that is not individually, or from group participation, raised by the student for such trips and activities.
Lexington Public Schools, Lexington MA
Adopted by Lexington School Committee: July 2015