Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Make School Funding Fair

"Larger questions surround what states should do to address funding inequities between school districts. Most states have adopted funding formulas aimed at ameliorating differences in the ability of districts to raise funding from local property taxes. Property-wealthy towns are able to raise more dollars at lower tax rates than property-poor districts, leading to inequities in per-pupil funding. Yet, as the commission report points out, prior attempts to address these inequities, such as through state funding formulas, merely patch a broken system and fail to redress inequities or to produce the kind of academic achievement our children need and deserve.

"The time has come to strongly consider the need for larger systematic reform of funding systems. In a chapter in the recently released book Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform, I propose a "new" approach to school funding: States should adopt a state-based system of school financing—one in which states provide all nonfederal resources for education, and districts no longer have the power to raise funds from local property taxes.
"Under such a system, all districts would receive the resources they need to educate all of their children. Funding levels would be based on the specific needs of the students and of the districts, not just the resources districts are fiscally able to raise based on local property values. Local schools and districts would be able to provide additional funding of up to 10 percent of their state allocation for local priorities and programs."

Read the rest of this article at Education Week: How to Make School Funding Fair

Photo taken from How are We Funding Educational Inequality?