Achieving A General, Suitable and Efficient Education In Arkansas Lawrence O. Picus USC Rossier School of Education
“The school funding system now in place in the State of Arkansas is inequitable and inadequate…” Chancellor Collins Kilgore In Lakeview v. Huckabee
What’s This About? • Concepts of equity and adequacy • What school finance theory says about both • How equity and adequacy can be achieved
System Requirements • Substantial Uniformity • Substantial equality of financial resources • Substantial equal educational opportunity for all students
Embody legitimate standards for student performance Provide a method for accountability to ensure the standards are met Provide and allocate sufficient resources to deliver the standards Three Requirements
Establishing an Equity Framework • Who is the Group? • What is the Object? • What is the Principle? • What Statistic(s) do you use to measure the degree of equity?
Equity: Equal Amounts of What? • Horizontal Equity • Vertical Equity • Fiscal Neutrality
Arkansas School Funding • Foundation program • Base level revenue • Additional base funding • Categorical grants for vertical equity • Limited assistance for capital expenditures
Adequacy: How Much Money Do We Need? • School finance adequacy requires providing enough fiscal resources to insure that all students can perform at high levels
Costing Out Adequacy • Defining adequacy • Implementation issues • Measuring costs and expenditures • Concerns and other issues
Four Approaches to Defining Adequacy • Cost functions • Expenditures in districts/schools that meet performance benchmarks • Professional judgment • Cost of effective school-wide strategies
Implementation • How proscriptive should the model be? • Who controls spending decisions? • Simple, transparent and easily understood • Establish a base “foundation” level • Adjust for: • Student characteristics • District characteristics • Price differences
Measuring Cost and Expenditures • Understanding the difference between a cost and an expenditure • Choosing which to use • Wyoming Costs • Oregon Expenditures • Combinations of the two
Concerns and Other Issues • Look at the total picture • Individual components of the funding model may not tell the whole story • Details are important, but don’t forget the major assumptions in the model
Conclusions • Lakeview sets the stage for significant Reform • Need to tie finance reform to student performance • Define adequacy • Collect and use better data • What is the cost?
How to Contact Me Lawrence O. Picus Professor, USC Rossier School of Education EDPA WPH 702G University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-0031 213 740-2175 firstname.lastname@example.org