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ERIC Number: ED503547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 172
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 49
A Tale of Two Districts: A Comparative Study of Student-Based Funding and School-Based Decision Making in San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts
Chambers, Jay; Shambaugh, Larisa; Levin, Jesse; Muraki, Mari; Poland, Lindsay
American Institutes for Research
Though the number of districts with student-based funding-type (SBF) policies has grown, the literature on the implementation and possible impacts of these policies is limited. To address this, this report describes the implementation of SBF policies in two California school districts--San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District--and addresses the following research questions: (1) What are key considerations that San Francisco and Oakland have faced when designing and implementing their respective SBF policies? What are the perceived impacts of these districts' decisions?; (2) Have San Francisco and Oakland distributed and utilized their resources in different ways after adopting SBF policies?; and (3) Based on San Francisco and Oakland's experiences, what are some "lessons learned" for other district and state policymakers interested in an SBF policy? This study is not an evaluation of SBF policies in California. Instead, the goal is to describe and compare SBF systems in two case study districts, to report the perceptions of key constituencies on these policies, and to present data on the patterns of resource allocation before and after implementation. Seven chapters comprise this report, following an introduction. They present information on the processes and procedures around implementing an SBF policy, some qualitative assessment of the implementation in the case study districts, and some quantitative analyses of the patterns of resource allocation before and after SBF implementation. Chapter 2 outlines the general planning and budgeting process in San Francisco and Oakland, along with the driving force behind each district's implementation of its SBF policies. Chapters 3 and 4 then detail nine key considerations both districts faced when planning and implementing their SBF policies. Chapter 3 focuses specifically on the three considerations that revolved around funding. Chapter 4 details the planning and implementation considerations beyond those specific to funding. Each consideration is laid out in detail along with the school and district stakeholders' reactions to those decisions. These chapters are especially geared toward district administrators who are interested in pursuing or refining an SBF policy based on real-life experiences in two California districts. Chapter 5 provides a detailed analysis of the changes in the patterns of resource allocation over time, both before and after the implementation of an SBF policy. Chapter 6 then summarizes the analysis of whether the equitable relationship between student need and resource expenditures changed during the implementation of an SBF policy in both districts. Finally, Chapter 7 concludes with lessons learned from our observation of both districts' SBF policies in general as well as specific insights for both district and state policymakers in California. (Contains 64 exhibits and 8 notes.)
American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research
Identifiers - Location: California