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ERIC Number: ED541046
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Funding a Better Education: Conclusions from the First Three Years of Student-Based Budgeting in Hartford
Doyle, Daniela; Boast, Lyria; Rosch, Jacob; Hassel, Bryan
Public Impact
When the Connecticut State Department of Education published its first district report cards in 2003, it was obvious that the Hartford Public Schools district was struggling. Fewer than half of its students were proficient on the state reading exam. Math performance was better, but 63 percent of 10th-graders and 43 percent of younger students failed to meet proficiency benchmarks. Compared with the state, Hartford looked even worse; its proficiency rates trailed by as many as 39 percentage points. The arrival of Steven Adamowski as district superintendent in 2006 began a new chapter at Hartford Public Schools (HPS). Within months, Adamowski introduced a plan to improve the quality of a Hartford education. The first pillar was school choice, allowing students' families to choose the schools their children would attend. The second pillar was Managed Performance Empowerment (MPE), giving schools the autonomy and accountability to promote high performance. Critical to both pillars was a new school funding model that allocates funding according to student enrollment and need: student-based budgeting. Student-based budgeting (SBB) allocates school funding based on the number of students schools enroll and the needs of those students. Through SBB, district leaders sought to accomplish three goals: (1) increase funding equity; (2) improve budgeting and accountability; and (3) increase transparency, all in an effort to improve student performance. Now, three years later, is SBB meeting these goals? This report seeks to answer that question by analyzing six years of budget data and through interviews with Hartford principals running schools both before and after SBB implementation. Using these data, the authors evaluate the progress the district has made in implementing SBB. In so doing, the report considers four research questions: (1) Has SBB changed the amount of funding individual schools receive?; (2) Has the allocation of school funding become more equitable, both in providing schools with the same amount of funding for students with the same characteristics, and in allocating more funding for students with greater need?; (3) Has SBB increased principals' sense of accountability at the school level?; and (4) Has SBB brought greater transparency to the district's funding process? Appended are: (1) A Transition Plan for SBB in Hartford; and (2) Methodology. (Contains 9 figures, 3 tables, and 25 notes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by H. A. Vance Foundation.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Impact
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut