Fixing School Funding
School finance reform continues to light up debates whenever it arises, such as this one in a recent issue of Education Next. In a number of states, the current economic – and thus state budget – crisis is prompting policymakers to think again about how they should structure school funding. The Holy Grail here is a system that gets incentives right, allocating funding in ways that encourage schools and districts to do what’s best for kids, AND addresses the immense equity challenge posed by the various yawning achievement gaps.
Here’s one recent example of that quest, a report we worked with the Connecticut education advocacy organization ConnCAN to develop. Entitled “The Tab,” the study explains Connecticut’s current system and then proposes an alternative built around three ideas: having money follow children based on need, shining an intense light of transparency on data about funding flows and uses, and sweeping away barriers that keep schools and districts from doing what’s needed to get results. The Tab is here, with ConnCAN’s media release here.