As follow up to yesterday’s post on the completely fabricated and back-of-the-napkin numbers presented in The Tab, here’s a quick simulated allocation of the $11,000 foundation + $3,000 poverty weight (applied to free or reduced lunch) + $400 per ELL/LEP child.
The Tab pretty much conceals any real changes or patterns of changes by lumping them into a summary table by groups of districts without any documentation as to how the summary stats were estimated (page 27). Above is what the district by district changes would look like. Looks pretty much like a back-of-the-napkin attempt at roughly break-even analysis. Remember, this is a proposal for the future compared against actual spending from 2007-08 – two years back now!
Specifically, the proposal would appear to reduce funding in Hartford and New Haven by greater amounts than it would increase funding in districts like New Britain and Waterbury and only similarly to the increase for Bridgeport. That is, it levels down high poverty districts as much as it levels some up – a fact concealed by the claims of a net increase of $620 per pupil in the short term. Mind you, The Tab certainly provides no evidence that districts like Hartford and New Haven are massively over-funded, as their own policy solutions would imply. Oh wait… The Tab really doesn’t rely on evidence at all. Silly me.
Bruce Baker is an Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. From 1997 to 2008 he was a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. He is lead author with Preston Green (Penn State University) and Craig Richards (Teachers College, Columbia University) of Financing Education Systems, a graduate level textbook on school finance policy published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall. Professor Baker has written a multitude of peer reviewed research articles on state school finance policy, teacher labor markets, school leadership labor markets and higher education finance and policy. His recent work has focused on measuring cost variations associated with schooling contexts and student population characteristics, including ways to better design state school finance policies and local district allocation formulas (including Weighted Student Funding) for better meeting the needs of students.
Baker, along with Preston Green of Penn State University are co-authors of the chapter on Conceptions of Equity in the recently released Handbook of Research Education Finance and Policy, and co-authors of the chapter on the Politics of Education Finance in the Handbook of Education Politics and Policy and co-authors of the chapter on School Finance in the Handbook of Education Policy of the American Educational Research Association.
Professor Baker has also consulted for state legislatures, boards of education and other organizations on education policy and school finance issues and has testified in state school finance litigation in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona. He is a member of the Think Tank Review Panel, a group of academic researchers who conduct technical reviews of publicly released think tank reports on education policy issues.
View all posts by schoolfinance101