This report, prepared for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, explains how Georgia funds its schools, evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of its current funding model, and proposes ways to improve it to propel student learning forward. The report leads to three recommendations: allocating K-12 education funding through a student-based funding model, incentivizing innovation that supports student performance, and building a comprehensive financial data system.
Funding a Better Education: Conclusions from the First Three Years of Student-Based Budgeting in Hartford
This report, prepared for Achieve Hartford!, aims to determine the impact the first three years of student-based budgeting (SBB) have had on funding equity, transparency, and principals’ sense of autonomy in Hartford Public Schools. Using six years of finance data and interviews with nine principals who led schools both before and after the district’s implementation of SBB, the report concludes that SBB is off to a strong start in Hartford. The report also notes that the district has faced several implementation challenges, which if addressed, could make SBB more impactful.
In a two-part policy report, Partnership for Learning partnered with Public Impact to assess the state of school finance in Washington and explore the benefits student-based budgeting (SBB) could have for the state. Part one analyzes how Washington currently allocates funding, explains how the current funding model falls short, and describes how SBB would be a better alternative. Part two includes an extensive analysis of the state’s most recent school finance data and the impact an SBB model could have on district-level funding. The site also includes a simulator that allows users to develop their own SBB formula.
This webpage contains links to financial analyses of three of the 20+ Opportunity Culture school models. Savings and cost calculations of the models—Elementary Subject Specialization, Multi-Classroom Leadership, and Time-Technology Swap Rotation—illustrate that schools could increase excellent teachers’ pay up to approximately 130%, without increasing class sizes and within existing budgets. In some variations, schools may pay all teachers more, sustainably. Combining these and other sustainable models to extend the reach of excellent teachers and promote excellence by all instructional staff may produce even greater savings to fund teacher pay increases and other priorities, while producing excellent student outcomes. A financial planning summary provides an overview of the expected savings and costs of implementing all school model categories.
In 2009, a bi-partisan group of urban and suburban municipal leaders asked Public Impact to study Rhode Island’s K-12 funding system. In collaboration with Martin West, assistant professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Public Impact found the state’s current system to be inequitable and too inflexible to meet the state’s evolving needs. The report calls for a new finance policy based on student need and outlines four principles to reform education finance in the Ocean State.
The Tab: How Connecticut Can Fix its Dysfunctional Education Spending System to Reward Success, Incentivize Choice and Boost Student Achievement
In this report for Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), Public Impact authors Bryan C. Hassel and Daniela Doyle trace Connecticut’s current flow of public school funding and recommend a reformed system that would create strong incentives to boost student achievement. As ConnCAN summarizes in its November 2009 release of the report, The Tab “offers a detailed reform plan grounded in three fundamental changes: 1) Revamp the state’s funding formula so that money follows children based on their needs, 2) Shine a bright light on education finance by creating a comprehensive and easily accessible data system on school funding, and 3) Remove fiscal barriers that stand in the way of creating great schools for everyone.”
A broad, bipartisan coalition now urges a new method of funding our public schools–one that finally ensures the students who need the most receive it, that empowers school leaders to make key decisions, and that opens the door to public school choice. It’s a 100 percent solution to the most pressing problems in public school funding–and it’s called Weighted Student Funding. Under WSF, money would follow children to the schools they attend, with more disadvantaged children generating more funding. Schools would then have increased discretion to spend funds in ways that maximize student learning. Public Impact led the research and writing behind this manifesto, released in June 2006 with dozens of signatories from across the political spectrum.
In a follow-up to a 2005 report showing that charter schools are significantly under-funded compared to district schools, the authors find that little changed over four years, and charter schools receive nearly 20 percent less funding per pupil than district schools. The report, created in collaboration with researchers Meagan Batdorff, Larry Maloney, and Jay May, examines FY 2006-07 data from 24 states and Washington, DC in the most comprehensive analysis of charter funding to date. While Public Impact did not carry out the data-gathering for this edition, the firm’s Daniela Doyle led the writing of the cross-state analysis.
Many of the dramatic reforms school districts are undertaking involve a significant facilities component. Since the resulting expenses may well outstrip funds available through traditional sources of facilities financing, districts and individual charter schools have increasingly sought innovative ways to meet their facilities needs. This report from Education/Evolving outlines the most promising emerging solutions.
While Ohio’s policymakers have made great strides in reducing funding inequities between school districts, substantial inequities remain between schools, with schools serving more disadvantaged populations often receiving less. In addition, the state’s finance system has not kept pace with the expanding choices available to families: while kids can take advantage of more and more choice options, money does not follow them fully as they choose. This Thomas B. Fordham Institute report, by Public Impact and University of Dayton’s School of Education and Allied Professions, documents those issues and proposes a new approach.
This toolkit provides creative ideas for financing charter school facilities based on pioneering schools’ experiences. From the Charter Friends National Network, 1999.