Powering the Global Education Conversation: About edCircuit

Fifty Different States, Fifty Different Issues

A CEO talks about the 50 different funding problems in US education


This interview is part of a series of discussions I conducted on the Financial Health of the U.S. Education System. The idea spawned from conversations I had with Jess Gartner, CEO, and founder of Allovue, a noted connector in the space bringing voices in financial management together. During the Future of Education Finance Summit, Gartner popularized the term #EdfinTech, and it has been gaining steam ever since.

Founder and CEO of EdBuild, Rebecca Sibilia

One of the most glaring issues, when you look at education funding for our K-12 public schools across the country, is local income disparity creating haves and have nots. With education funding mostly based on local tax revenue, it stands to reason that a student in an affluent suburb north of New York City is going to grow up with a vastly different educational experience than a student in a poor inner city district in the Bronx.

Rebecca Sibilia is Founder and CEO of EdBuild, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC that is focused on more equitable ways for states to fund local schools. As she points out, because of a couple of key supreme court decisions, we don’t have a national school funding problem to deal with; we have 50 independent problems, one in each state.

She explains the history of the legislation and politics the led us to the position we find ourselves in regarding education funding, including the notion that the education system is actually “flush with cash” but is simply mismanaged.

Finally, Rebecca says that EdBuild is trying to “better match up the accountability and the authority for the provision of education, which rests at a state level, with how schools are being funded to bring those two issues together.” Check out the interview above to hear how they are trying to accomplish this noble goal.

Interview Transcript:

Dr. Berger: Rebecca, a lot of people, especially with the Trump transition in DC, are looking at what our education landscape is going to be and how it’s going to be impacting those that are in schools as practitioners, as students, as community members, and also those that are working to support the educational system at large.

We’ve been looking at the financial health of the US education system, and it seems like what you are doing with EdBuild is keenly tied to this area of focus.  Where are we in how we look at and examine the state of the financial health of the US education system?

Rebecca Sibilia: One of the things that I think doesn’t get enough attention, in te