by Lisa Snell, Katie Furtick
Reason Foundation
December 05, 2013
In the United States, public funding systems at the state and local level are increasingly adopting a “school funding portability” framework, where funding is attached to the students and “follows the child” to the school he or she attends. A weighted student formula (WSF) at the school district level is the most common manifestation of this portable funding strategy. A full weighted student formula system proposes basing school funding on five key principles. Funding should follow the child; per-student funding should vary according to the child’s need; funding should arrive at the school as real dollars—not as teaching positions or ratios—that can be spent flexibly, with accountability systems focused more on results and less on inputs; principles for allocating money to schools should apply to all levels of funding; funding systems should be as simple as possible and made transparent to administrators, teachers, parents and citizens.

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