With ESSA implementation underway, equity may be top of mind for many superintendents and district administrators. How do you determine whether your current resource allocation processes are equitable? Here are four questions to consider when discussing your district’s resource allocation methods.
1. Do you roll your budget over from year to year or are you strategically thinking through the needs of your district each school year?
While access to your historical spending is crucial in creating a new budget, you shouldn’t rely entirely on last year’s needs to meet this year’s challenges. Let your historical budget data guide the strategic decisions for the next school year.
When reviewing your budget, ask yourself:
- Which accounts were typically overspent or underspent?
- Which positions are changing in purpose based on a new strategy?
- Is Discretionary and Title I spending truly helping staff and students?
- How do we rethink resource allocation decisions to adapt to changing student, school, and community needs?
There are a variety of ways to create a funding formula based on the needs of your district. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you can articulate the benefits of using said method.
- Is it weighted so that students with the highest need receive the most resources?
- Are you considering title I, special education, FRL?
Want help determining which funding formula is right for your district? Our latest product, Balance Allocate, helps districts create staffing and weighted funding scenarios to design a data-driven school funding formula based on your district’s unique requirements. Click here to learn more.
3. Who do you involve when your district discusses equity?
- Just superintendents and CFOs?
- What about principals?
- Do you include board and community members?
Including the feedback of multiple stakeholders is crucial to creating effective resource allocation strategies that advance equity.
4. If improving resource equity hasn’t been a topic of conversation within your district yet, why not?
ESSA regulations will force states, districts, and schools to evaluate and address resource inequities and adopt strategies that will enrich opportunities for students historically underserved. Use this opportunity to pay close attention to the resources and conditions that influence student learning outcomes in your district, and start planning to address inequalities that may exist.
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