“While there is no optimal system, it’s important to point out that districts that want to make bigger strides in increasing both equity and school-level flexibility should aim to put as much of their operating dollars in the formula as possible and should adopt a simple yet sufficient set of weights. This way, students get the resources they need and schools have the freedom to use those dollars in a way that makes the most sense for them.” —Christian Barnard, Reason Foundation
NEW: Reason Foundation’s 2019 Weighted Student Formula Yearbook
The 2019 edition of the Weighted Student Formula Yearbook, written by Christian Barnard, highlights best practices and shares details on how 20 school districts approach weighted-student funding, including the history of each district’s system, the overall percentage of operating dollars allocated through the formula, the specific weights employed, and much more.
Student-Based Budgeting in the News
School Principals Should Decide How to Spend Education Dollars
Principals know what’s best for students yet are typically left out of budget decisions.
Student-Based Budgeting Should Be Part of Tennessee’s Turnaround Efforts
School funding reforms are integral to sustainable improvements.
Weighted Student Funding Programs Continue to Show Promising Results
The majority of school districts fund individual schools by allotting staffing positions and special programs, not actual dollars. This diminishes equity, reduces transparency, and poses challenges to school-level flexibility.
Research and Resources Spotlight
Training School Leaders to Spend Wisely
The need for financial training is vast, especially for principals and school board members.