Source: The 74 Million

The Texas Commission on Public School Finance recently recommended investing $800 million more annually in college readiness and third-grade reading proficiency. Both my personal experience and the academic evidence strongly suggest that outcomes-based funding can result in significant student gains. The key is whether the system is properly designed. Texas’s proposal is just that. Districts will receive at least $1,450 for each student proficient in third-grade reading. If the student comes from a low-income family, the district will receive $3,400. That’s a 24 percent increase to base funding for literacy instruction that will become a permanent component of the overall system. But perhaps the most beneficial element of this proposal is the size of the weights for at-risk students, which are used for allocating additional funding above base funding levels to categories of students who are shown to cost more to educate to state standards. For both third-grade proficiency and postsecondary success, the Texas proposal includes more than 200 percent additional funding for successful at-risk students — almost 10 times the 22 percent typically spent by states on these students.