ERIC Number: EJ705359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
When Dollars Follow Students: The Political Viability, Equity and Workability of Weighted Funding Formulas
Deroche, Timothy R.; Cooper, Bruce S.; Ouchi, William G.
School Administrator, v61 n7 p10 Aug 2004
For more than a decade, education reformers have admired the achievements of the Edmonton Public Schools in Canada, and school districts across the United States have attempted to replicate Edmonton's success with school-site decision making. However, most districts have stopped short of implementing one policy that is central to Edmonton's success: a radical new method of allocating resources to schools. Under the leadership of Superintendents Mike Strembitsky, Emery Dosdall and now Angus McBeath, Edmonton has pioneered a program called Weighted Student Formula, in which each student receives an allocation--weighted according to his or her specific needs--that follows the student all the way to the school. Families are free to choose any public school, and principals have a great deal of discretion over their school budget, which is an aggregation of all the individual student allocations. Following Edmonton's lead, several districts in the United States have launched their own versions of weighted student formulas, or WSF: Houston, Seattle, Washington, DC, and Cincinnati already have implemented the program, while San Francisco has launched a more limited version. A dozen of the best practices that school districts have used to successfully implement WSF have been identified. The authors are hopeful that school system leaders will be able to use these lessons to design weighted student formulas that are politically viable, financially equitable and managerially workable.
Descriptors: Resource Allocation, Funding Formulas, School Districts, Public Schools, Educational Finance, Financial Support, Educational Equity (Finance), Board of Education Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Canada (Edmonton)