ERIC Number: ED344335
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Comparing the Merits of Foundation versus Needs-Based Financing in West Virginia.
Meckley, Dick; Leonard, Barbara
To meet statutory and policy requirements regulating education in West Virginia, the state superintendent, supported by educational organizations, has suggested that the legislature change the current foundation formula to one based on educational needs. The needs-based approach would focus primarily on the number of personnel needed to carry out state-mandated programs. In the current formula, "normal" children are counted once and "exceptional" children are counted three times to determine a district's adjusted enrollment and state subsidies for personnel. The needs-based approach specifies required personnel for a certain number of net pupil enrollments in grade levels and instructional categories. Support, service, and administrative personnel are similarly based on overall district enrollment. Comparison reveals that the needs-based plan would require more personnel and more state money than the current formula. In fiscal year 1993, personnel needs would increase by 743 positions at a cost increase of approximately $45 million. Since the governor has recently ordered statewide school district budget cuts, an increase in school funding seems unlikely. The proposed funding formula change could help the state achieve some of its educational goals but may result in unanticipated cost increases that will be viewed unfavorably in a state experiencing sustained economic decline. (11 references) (Author/MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: West Virginia
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Finance Association (New Orleans, LA, March 1992).