BPS initiated use of a new student-weighted funding formula for budgeting this year. The Superintendent describes it as follows:
“Under a weighted student funding formula, dollars follow students. This means that BPS anticipates what each student needs each year and then delivers the appropriate funds to the school that student attends. Dollars no longer follow programs, buildings or schools. Instead, we allocate budgets solidly based on student need.”
There has already been controversy about the new student-weighted formula. For every budget winner there is a budget loser, i.e., some schools saw an increase, some a decrease.
As a result of the new formula, a few issues have arisen that have already begun to spark controversy:
- Is a new budget fairer? Only time will tell. It is important here to separate the concept, which may be good, from the actual implementation, which may have been poorly designed.
- Was it properly devised with input from all members of the various school communities? No ambiguity here: the School Department crafted the formula by talking only to its own inner circle.
- Was its implementation adequately planned and noticed? Clearly not. The notice to all has been scant and the implementation, hasty.
Upcoming school budget hearings will be an opportunity to address these issues. See here and scroll down.