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June 23, 2006

Need based School Funding Formula Disputed

Peter Gascoyne made an excellent point in recent comment regarding "No free lunch". In other words, a change that's positive in one area may not be all that great for others. Beverly Creamer notes that Hawaii is implementing a new Weighted Student Formula that is not without controversy:

A new controversy is shaping up over how money is divided among the state's public schools under a formula based on student need.

Small and rural schools were expected to suffer staggering monetary losses under a new Weighted Student Formula that will take effect with the new school year July 27. And even though the losses were averted with an extra $20 million from the Legislature, the outcry over the expected impact on small and rural schools generated widespread concern.

Now, a special Department of Education committee charged with re-examining the formula has proposed a key change intended primarily to address wide discrepancies in funding between the largest and smallest schools.

Under the plan, each school would receive a base amount — or "foundation grant" — to assure that each could afford essential positions. The foundation grants would amount to about 25 percent of total school funding, leaving much less to be divided according to student need.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at June 23, 2006 10:29 AM
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