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FUNDING FOR ACHIEVEMENT A Report and Comprehensive Proposal for State Education Aid Reform: Why We Need to Change Educational Funding New York State Association.

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Presentation on theme: "FUNDING FOR ACHIEVEMENT A Report and Comprehensive Proposal for State Education Aid Reform: Why We Need to Change Educational Funding New York State Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 FUNDING FOR ACHIEVEMENT A Report and Comprehensive Proposal for State Education Aid Reform: Why We Need to Change Educational Funding New York State Association of Small City School Districts PowerPoint Presentation as shown on Prepared by Charles Winters and the Association’s State Aid Committee with the valuable assistance of Professor William Duncombe, Syracuse University

2 Court of Appeals’ Decision held -that the word “educated” had a much broader meaning than that of merely being “schooled” -that this meaning evolves with the growing expectations of society and must result in imparting the skills necessary to participate meaningfully in society -that “local control” does not excuse inadequacy, nor does poverty justify ignorance.

3 GOALS OF REPORT: To study and create a model of comprehensive reform To determine the financial meaning of an “adequate education” based on the actual test results of students and on the actual standards by which they are now judged.

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5 The relationship between local wealth and test-based success in schools was pervasive and overwhelming. Community wealth and student poverty alone predicted over 70% of the variation in the average test scores among school districts in The vast majority of schools listed as being “in need of improvement” served a high percentage of children from poverty.

6 The cost of achievement in the highest poverty districts was more than twice that of the lowest poverty districts The cost of achievement showed a strong and directly proportional relationship to the level of poverty in districts Inadequate funding was not isolated in New York City, nor only in city schools, but included many rural and suburban schools as well

7 How does the cost of raising student achievement one level rise with the percentage of children eligible for free or reduced price lunches?

8 LEVEL OF FUNDING What level is necessary for all schools to achieve the performance level that is now being achieved by the average school district in New York, including provisions for regional cost, sparsity, poverty and limited English? many urban and rural schools did not have the funds necessary to reach the average level of achievement. The results were consistent and clear

9 What Standard? This is not utopian.

10 Many Middle & High Poverty Districts in New York Spend below The Level Needed To Score at the State Average Below Adequacy Level Above Adequacy Level

11 SUPPLEMENTAL STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING ARE NEEDED a large number of districts were already funded at a level much higher than was necessary to achieve at the average a large number of districts were substantially under- funded some districts currently taxed themselves much harder than should be necessary to raise the desired funding

12 others did not devote enough local revenue to their schools a considerable number of districts encompassed so much taxable property that they raised an excessive amount from very small tax effort some of the wealthiest citizens of the state paid a minimal school tax while others bore a heavy tax burden, yet derived a spending level that was visibly inadequate

13 ACCOUNTABILITY IN EDUCATION three-quarters of the state’s urban and rural schools were, and still are inadequately funded a substantial number of school districts were funded well beyond what was necessary to achieve the Regents standards— and often do achieve well above these standards

14 This Formula Targets New Aid on Demonstrated Need

15 ROBIN HOOD DOES SAVE-HARMLESS MEAN THAT SOME DISTRICTS COMMAND A MORE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO STATE RESOURCES? NO. THE DESIRE TO RETAIN SAVE- HARMLESS MUST NOT PREEMPT THE NEED TO MOVE RAPIDLY TOWARD ADEQUACY FOR ALL STUDENTS.

16 ACCOUNTABILITY OF TRANSITION measure the efficiency of each year’s legislative session each legislature must make “Adequate Yearly Progress” toward fairer and more effective funding clear, timely and public measurement

17 FUNDING TARGET We plan to create and maintain a funding target for each school district and measure the state’s progress toward that target.

18 OUTCOMES OF FORMULA SpendingTaxingState Aid Current Amount 32,676,387,665 17,366,498,27814,769,248,861 Target Amount 37,795,676,670 17,366,498,27819,562,921,788 Net Change 5,119,289, ,793,672,927 Sum of Reductions (2,121,552,957) (1,810,392,869)(2,178,891,824) Sum of Additions 7,240,841,962 1,810,392,869 6,972,564,751 Net Increase % 15.7% 0.0% 32.5% Efficiency = 1-(Reductions/Current) 93.5%89.6% 85.2% Adequacy = 1-(Gains/Current) 77.8%89.6% 52.8% Percent Increase W/O Redistribution 22.2%10.4%47.2% Savings if Aid Increase is Capped At 15% (5,235,530,284)

19 PHASED IMPLEMENTATION The efficiency and adequacy of state aid would rise by 1/6 th each year. Under-funded districts would receive increases equal to 1/6 th of the difference between the target aid and the base aid. Increases would be substantially above the rate of inflation, up to some absolute percentage cap. Funding gaps would decrease and efficiency and adequacy would improve. 6 YEAR EXAMPLE

20 When aid increases in the needy districts are frozen or held below the rate of inflation ADEQUACY DROPS & EFFICIENCY DROPS When aid increases go to over-funded districts EFFICIENCY DROPS

21 HIGH EXPECTATIONS NEED FINANCIAL SUPPORT, YET… …THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR A COMMUNITY’S LACK OF ADEQUATE SUPPORT …AND NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THE STATE’S LACK OF ADEQUATE SUPPORT

22 We need to reform contingency budget laws for school districts that are not meeting state standards. Under the current system, funds intended to improve student achievement can be diverted to local tax relief. A student’s constitutional right to an adequate education must prevail over a tradition of local control. State aid and local effort must be used improve the school system.

23 Representing over 74.9% of students

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25 Fewer than 25% of the downstate suburbs would see aid increases Yet some of the most disadvantaged districts fall in this region, and these districts would see very substantial increases. This overall disparity in results between upstate and downstate is the primary reason why maintaining “regional balance” may be incompatible with school finance reform (unless New York City is included in the downstate share, in which case the downstate share actually increases).


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