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ERIC Number: ED541296
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 53
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
School Budget Report for School District of Philadelphia: School Year 2008-2009
Education Resource Strategies
In the fall of 2007, Education Resource Strategies (ERS) was invited by Philadelphia's School Reform Commission to conduct a Resource Use Analysis for the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) that would in part inform a possible transition to weighted student funding. In April 2008, ERS began the first set of interviews and data gathering designed to inform the mapping and measuring of resource use in Philadelphia. This phase of the partnership between ERS and SDP has focused on five overarching questions: (1) Transparency: Is the SDP budget process clear, well documented and easily understood?; (2) Budget Impact: How does the budget process impact the ability of school leaders to use resources in keeping with research-based practice?; (3) Spending Comparison: How do spending patterns in SDP compare to other urban districts?; (4) Distribution Across Schools: Does each school receive the appropriate share of SDP resources given their student population, challenges, and goals?; and (5) Spending Difference Drivers: What factors account for differences in spending across SDP schools? Key findings are the following: (1) Transparency: SDP has clarified how the existing school budget process works and improved reporting; (2) Budget Impact: Key budget processes limit the ability of school leaders to staff schools around a coherent instructional vision; (3) Spending Comparison: Compared to other urban districts, SDP overhead is low but Operations & Maintenance (O&M) costs are high because SDP runs too many schools; (4) Distribution Across Schools: Despite recent district efforts, many of the neediest schools receive fewer resources per pupil than other SDP schools; and (5) Spending Difference Drivers: Spending differences across SDP schools are driven primarily by size and inaccurate enrollment projections. Recommendations fell into two categories: (1) Distribution of resources to SDP schools; and (2) Improve the use of school-level resources. Appended are: (1) ERS Use/Function Coding Methodology; (2) Coding Exclusions; (3) Regression Analysis Results-Detailed Breakdown; (4) Breakout of costs of Imagine 2014 Initiatives; and (5) Effect on per-pupil funding of adding Imagine 2014 initiatives. (Contains 24 figures and 35 footnotes.)
Education Resource Strategies. 480 Pleasant Street Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472. Tel: 617-607-8000; Fax: 617-600-6613; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Resource Strategies
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania