Weighted Student Formula Yearbook 2009

Examining the school districts using student-based "backpack" funding to improve results

Much of our education funding is wasted on bureaucracy. The money never actually makes it into the classroom in the form of books, computers, supplies, or even salaries for better teachers. Weighted student formula changes that. Using weighted student formula’s decentralized system, education funds are attached to each student and the students can take that money directly to the public school of their choice.

At least 15 major school districts have moved to this system of backpack funding.  Reason Foundation’s new Weighted Student Formula Yearbook examines how the budgeting system is being implemented in each of these places and, based on the real-world data, creates a series of “best practices” that other districts and states can follow to improve the quality of their schools.

Weighted Student Formula Yearbook (Full Study .pdf)
Weighted Student Formula Overview (.pdf)
Weighted Student Formula Best Practices (.pdf)

Weighted Student Formula Case Studies Excerpted from the Yearbook:

Baltimore Public Schools (.pdf)
Belmont Pilot Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District (.pdf)
Boston Pilot Schools (.pdf)
Chicago Public Schools—Renaissance 2010 Schools (.pdf)
Cincinnati Public Schools (.pdf)
Clark County School District (Las Vegas) (.pdf)
Denver Public Schools (.pdf)
Hartford Public Schools (.pdf)
State of Hawaii (.pdf)
Houston Independent School District (.pdf)
New York City Department of Education (.pdf)
Oakland Unified School District (.pdf)
Poudre School District (Fort Collins, Colorado) (.pdf)
Saint Paul Public Schools (Minnesota) (.pdf)
San Francisco Unified School District (.pdf)

Lisa Snell's Bio

Reason Foundation's Education Research and Commentary

Lisa Snell is Director of Education

This Study's Materials




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