‘Weighted Funding’ and Management Reforms

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

To the Editor:

If states decide to require student-based budgeting, as California is said to be considering, it may be another instance of mishandling a desirable practice by mandating it ("‘Weighted’ Funding of Schools Gains Favor," Nov. 3, 2004).

In Edmonton, Alberta, the approach described early on as “school-based budgeting” and later as “school-based management” was developed gradually over several decades by committed administrators and board members. The idea is simple but powerful: If local educators are to be accountable, they should decide how to use the available resources. And if funds are to be allocated directly to schools, it only makes sense to recognize that some students cost more to educate than others.

Equitable funding is basic, but Edmonton’s program involves much more. It also includes intentional differentiation of schools and full parent choice. Intentional differentiation means purposely creating a variety of schools, in an effort to satisfy a variety of wants and needs. (Charter schools do this to some degree in some jurisdictions, but charter schools are considered to be separate from the regular school system.)

Student-based budgeting, intentional variation, and parent choice reinforce one another. In the late 1980s, some states and large districts required a version of school-based management that emphasized shared governance (local school councils that weakened the authority of principals). Researchers found that this distorted version of school-based management did not improve achievement, so reformers lost interest in the idea. Now it appears to be back in the form in which it began: as a way to allocate funding.

Ron Brandt
Alexandria, Va.

Vol. 24, Issue 12, Page 34

Published in Print: November 17, 2004, as ‘Weighted Funding’ and Management Reforms

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

To Address Chronic Absenteeism, Dig into the Data

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Keep Your Schools Safe and Responsive to Real Challenges

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

3 Unique Learner Profiles for Emerging Bilinguals

Effective Questioning Practices to Spur Thinking

Empower Reading Teachers with Proven Literacy PD

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >