Trends in the News

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Education Next, 3/2/16

Blog: Productivity is sometimes seen as a dirty word in education. But it doesn’t have to be.

States like California and districts like Boston, Denver and Houston, among others, have been transitioning to a finance model that gives principals greater authority over their schools’ budgets in exchange for being held accountable for student outcomes. Rather than manage (and limit) how schools spend their money through rules and regulations, officials focus on how to distribute monies more equally among schools.

News Channel 5, 3/10/16

Nashville schools base budgets on students

Student based budgeting is a flexible budget that gives principals the ability to tailor a large portion of their budget specific to their school instead of having the district put out a one-size-fits-all budget for all schools in the district. The 2015-2016 school year is the first year student-based budgeting has been used in the Metro School District, allowing schools to spend on what they need, whether it be computers, calculators, books, furniture, or anything else the school and its students need.

The Notebook, 3/24/16

Despite uncertainty, Philly plans $440 million in new investments

Hite and Monson are projecting that charter enrollment will grow by 10,000 students over the next five years. To help offset that cost, Hite said, the District is planning to close three more District schools per year, starting in 2018. As students move to charters, the District must gradually downsize, he said, to mitigate so-called stranded costs.

The California Report, 3/21/16

How one school Is trying to bridge inequities

The goal of the funding system is simple: Give schools like Oak Ridge more money and more control over how to spend that money. In exchange, school leaders have to demonstrate their spending decisions are getting more at-risk students learning.

The Times-Picayune, 4/4/16

Parents say New Orleans school funding discriminates

The new plan is a compromise that “ensures that dollars follow students according to their needs in an equitable way,” Lewis wrote March 26 to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It lowers the amount that Orleans Parish schools get for regular and gifted students, and increases the amount for students who have disabilities, are learning English or are far behind their grade level.

Bloomberg Business, 2/16/16

School of debt: How to bankrupt public education, Chicago-style

How did it come to this? Among the many culprits, real or perceived, are recalcitrant unions, inept administrators, feckless politicians and self-interested bankers. But, in the end, the simple answer is this: too much debt. The budget math is sobering. Since 2007, actual district spending has soared by more than a third, even as enrollment has fallen 4 percent.