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Learning About Virginia School Funding: How the Funding Formula works. A disproportionate burden on localities. Actual funding for: –Salaries –Professional.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning About Virginia School Funding: How the Funding Formula works. A disproportionate burden on localities. Actual funding for: –Salaries –Professional."— Presentation transcript:

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4 Learning About Virginia School Funding: How the Funding Formula works. A disproportionate burden on localities. Actual funding for: –Salaries –Professional Educator Positions –School Construction –Other School Priorities

5 Generally speaking… All 50 states provide funding for public schools in one manner or another. The idea is to spread out the burden of funding over a larger population to raise the “floor” level of services for all students in the Commonwealth.

6 Fiscal Capacity Some localities have a greater ability to fund education than others. This ability, or lack of ability, is called fiscal capacity.

7 Composite Index: Virginia has a sound formula for determining a locality’s ability to fund education. That formula is called the composite index.

8 Composite Index is a: Measure of wealth based on a locality’s: Sales Tax Income Tax Property Tax

9 Composite Index The composite index is computed to have a theoretical range of 0 to Extreme Poverty Extreme Wealth

10 Composite Index The purpose of taxes is to redistribute wealth & spread the burden of paying for programs over many, raising the “floor” of education services for students in Virginia.

11 Constitution of Virginia, Article 1 That free government rests, as does all progress, upon the broadest diffusion of knowledge, and that the Commonwealth should avail itself of those talents which nature has sown so liberally among its people by assuring the opportunity for their fullest development by an effective system of education throughout the Commonwealth. Thomas Jefferson

12 Composite Index A composite index of 0 would indicate that the locality has virtually no ability to pay and that the floor of education services would be carried almost entirely by the Commonwealth

13 Composite Index A composite index of 1.0 would indicate a locality has the ability to fund the “floor of education services” without any financial assistance from the Commonwealth

14 Composite Index A composite index of.5 would indicate a mixed level of fiscal capacity & the cost of delivering the “floor of education services” would be split approximately 50/50 between the Commonwealth and the locality

15 Effort Capacity is one issue and effort is another. The resources that a locality puts into education is called local effort.

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17 Capacity & Effort in Virginia Virginia ranks 15th in wealth as measured by per capita income but ranks 45th in state support for public education based on that income. VEA Research Services,

18 How is “Floor of Services” Established? Virginia’s General Assembly examines both capacity & effort in determining funding. The Standards of Quality (SOQ) provide the basis for funding educational programs and services in Virginia, but… There is a problem with with how the SOQs fund the “floor” of services.

19 Two Major SOQ Problems - They Do Not Fund: Salaries (correctly)...or the Number of positions in the schools.

20 How Does the Formula Work? Each of the 135 school divisions in Virginia are treated as a unit of measurement. Each school division has equal weight regardless of size, capacity, or effort.

21 Highland County has the same weight in determining costs as does Fairfax County Highland CountyFairfax County JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee) recommended using the “linear estimator” to calculate costs.

22 What Does the Linear Estimator Do? Gives equal weight to each school division in terms of costs. This method underestimates the actual costs incurred by many school divisions.

23 Linear Estimator says these 2 districts are equal: District 1 District 2

24 Average Salaries Are Part of State Funding Fairfax County: –10 teachers $50,000/ year –Total: $500,000 Highland County: –1 teacher $30,000/year –Total: $30,000 Average Salary (using mean/average): $500, ,000 $530,000 $530,000 = $48, teachers

25 The Linear Estimator Treats Every School Division Equally: Fairfax County: –10 teachers $50,000/ year –Total: $500,000 Highland County: –1 teacher $30,000/year –Total: $30,000 Average Salary (using EQUALIZER formula): $50, ,000 $80,000 $80,000 = $40,000 2 school divisions

26 A Low Estimate: Fairfield & Highland Counties -- Average Formula: $48, Linear Estimator Formula: $40, Does the linear estimator give the General Assembly the real picture of average salary in Virginia?

27 Salaries The linear estimator model calculates a lower salary than the average. The figure used by this model in was more than $4,500, less than the actual average salary in Virginia. Source: VEA Research, Superintendent’s Annual Report, VDOE

28 Salaries This misleading calculation formula results in severe under-funding to localities which must be made up by local effort – where the burden is spread over a smaller group of people!

29 Salaries With more than 80,000 teaching positions for more than one million students in Virginia… If the formula underestimates salaries by approximately $4,000 for ¾ of them… Localities must come up with more than $240,000,000 in local funds to make up the difference!

30 BUT, Salaries are funded on the “Composite Index” IF your Composite Index is.3 The state pays 70% the cost of the estimated salaries. IF your Composite Index is.7 The state pays 30% the cost of the estimated salaries.

31 The State Pays Only a Portion of What it REALLY Costs to Run Our Schools!

32 Professional Positions in Schools Virginia funds a basic number or ratio of professional positions for each 1,000 students in the school division. 51 positions funded1000 students

33 Professional Positions in Schools To these 51 funded positions per 1000 students, we need to add six categorical positions: * Special education * Vocational education

34 Professional Positions in Schools When you add in the other category monies, there are 57 funded positions per 1,000 students. 57 positions 1000 students

35 Professional Positions in Schools When you add in the other JLARC- funded considerations, there are an average of 63 funded positions per 1,000 students. 63 positions 1000 students

36 Professional Positions in Schools The state pays for a minimum foundation program in our schools, not the number of teachers we really need.

37 The Average Number of Professional Positions per 1000 Students in Virginia is 78. The average locality has an average of 15 professional positions that the state does NOT fund and that must be funded LOCALLY.

38 Professional Positions Average

39 A c t u a l A v e r a g e

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45 The State Pays Only a Portion of What it REALLY Costs to Run Our Schools! The “Bottom Line.”

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47 We Must Ask… “Do the Standards of Quality really fund high standards & quality in our schools?”

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49 Funding Public Education in Virginia by William A. Owings, Ed.D. & Leslie S. Kaplan, Ed.D. Produced by Virginia Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development 106 Yorkview Road Yorktown, VA


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