“Policymakers should be wary of fixing the status quo since any system that provides funding based on inputs will inherently lack fairness, transparency, and autonomy. This is why few states employ this approach to school finance. Instead, the North Carolina General Assembly should spearhead the modernization of the state’s funding system by adopting student-centered funding, which allocates dollars based on a weighted-student formula and empowers those closest to kids to make locally responsive decisions.” —Aaron Garth Smith, Reason Foundation & Dr. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation
Student-Based Budgeting in the News
School Finance Lessons From Ferguson, Missouri
School finance reform is a foundational component of putting students and families first in America’s education systems and is especially critical for black communities.
Better Ways Exist to Help California’s Teachers Save for Retirement
Teachers’ salaries dominate public discussion about compensation but improving their retirement savings options should be given more attention.
Financial Transparency Shines Light on District Allocation Patterns in Florida
Until recently school-level spending data wasn’t available, but now stakeholders will be able to see which schools are shortchanged by district allocation practices.
Parents Know Better Than Standardized Tests
Test scores don’t always capture what’s important to parents and long-term outcomes.
Research and Resources Spotlight
Reforming North Carolina’s Outdated Funding System
North Carolina’s K-12 public school finance system is broken and efforts to fix it have been at least a decade in the making. This paper highlights the problems with North Carolina’s current school finance system and provides recommendations for reform, modernization, and funding strategies that are student-centered.
Video: The Changing Role of Education Finance Leadership
A recent webinar hosted by Edunomics Lab and BSCP answered questions about the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA’s) financial transparency requirements and discussed the opportunities ahead.
Reason Foundation’s 2019 Weighted Student Formula Yearbook
The 2019 edition, written by Christian Barnard, highlights best practices and shares details on how 20 school districts approach weighted-student funding. This includes the history of each district’s system, the overall percentage of operating dollars allocated through the formula, and the specific weights employed.