School district leaders face an array of challenges that affect how they allocate scarce resources to schools—stubborn achievement gaps, changing and complex demographics, and shrinking federal and state support. As the range of need grows more complex, schools are growing as diverse as the students they serve. In this context, many leaders are actively seeking ways to ensure that all schools have flexibility to organize resources to match student and school needs, while also ensuring equity across school types.
Education Resource Strategies (ERS) leverages more than 15 years of experience helping district leaders strategically reallocate their resources to improve student performance. As part of this work, we’ve collaborated with some of the leading districts that have made bold changes to their funding systems and worked through the results of these changes. Our work on funding is part of our broader School System 20/20 vision—an action-oriented framework for urban school districts to ensure that every school succeeds for every child.
Our work on school funding is based on seven principles for effective school budgeting. We believe that all school funding systems need to rest on this foundation: