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Local Education Funding

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Center for Reinventing Public Education, 4/28/17

Report: How states can promote local innovation, options, and problem-solving in public education

State policy plays a critical role in determining whether and how well local education improvement strategies can be implemented. As states rework their education policies under ESSA, state and local leaders need a way to assess their current policy environment and identify the changes needed to encourage local innovation and problem-solving. Read the overview, open up the self-assessment tool, then dig into the state policy reviews and recommendations in four key areas: systemsschoolsfamilies, and funding.

New Jersey Herald, 4/23/17

New Jersey school spending tough to compare

The Taxpayers Guide to Education Spending 2017 shows the myriad ways which school district numbers can be divided, with several categories of per pupil costs, including one labeled “actual per pupil costs.” But trying to compare district to district can be a daunting affair, even if the state does try to eliminate some variables, such as transportation costs, the amount of pension costs for local teachers paid by the district or even judgments against the school district. Click here for an interactive map of district per-pupil spending from NJ Spotlight.

Arkansas Online, 4/10/17

Arkansas school district turns school buses into billboards

The school district began displaying decals on five of its buses that promote a program called “A Hope and a Future,” started by the Booneville Rotary Club to raise money for scholarships for Booneville students… The decals were paid for by area businesses, which get their logo printed on the decals, and 75 percent of the net proceeds go to the school district to help repair and maintain its 18-bus fleet.

Education Week , 3/30/17

Memphis eyes merit-pay system

The district hopes to keep good teachers by allowing them to reach that salary maximum faster than they could in surrounding districts using more traditional pay scales. The proposal also allows for bonuses for teachers with advanced degrees and those who work in hard-to-staff subjects like math, science, and special education.

Education Resource Strategies, 2/28/17

When it comes to struggling schools, school choice is no substitute for systemic change

America’s educators need every tool in the toolbox to turn around chronically struggling schools. Choice alone won’t do it. Local control, in and of itself, won’t do it; for the most part, we have local control and it’s one of the big reasons some low-performing schools languish for decades. More money is important, but all funds need to be spent strategically. Successful turnarounds must be accompanied by real and meaningful changes in the way we train and support teachers, the way we instruct students and the way we structure our time and use our resources.

Education Post, 3/6/17

Local property taxes will never be an equitable way to fund public schools

A new report from EdBuild, Building Equity: Fairness in Property Tax Effort for Education, analyzes the way public schools are funded via property taxes and how this affects school funding equity. The disparities in “tax effort” for education funding are a key emphasis for the report, which aims to determine whether the burden put on poorer districts is more than their wealthier counterparts.