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InformED Report 11/23/16

stack of old books10/21/2016 | Biloxi, MS | WLOX

Concern over education funding growing among MS teachers

Doug Walker | WLOX | Twitter

The Mississippi Adequate Education Program is a school funding formula passed by lawmakers in 1997. But schools have received full funding only twice since then. Now, an effort is underway to re-write the law, and that has some teachers worried.

We caught up with some science teachers at a conference in Biloxi this week to learn more about their concerns.

“In order for our kids to compete and be successful with other countries, we need to be fully funded. And plus, that way we can integrate technology the way it’s supposed to be used in the classroom,” Emanuel Posey said.

With the current school funding formula only being accomplished twice in two decades, teachers are puzzled, including Mena Burnett.

“I’ve always wondered about that. It’s curious that it’s a law and hasn’t been actually followed in such a long time. So I hope they come up with something that will work this time,” Burnett mused.

Others wonder where education ranks in the state budget pecking order.  

To read more visit WLOX

Many say funding, not formula is problem with schools

Bobby Harrison | DJournal.com | Twitter

A vast majority of citizens speaking at a public hearing Thursday on the possible revamp of the funding formula that provides state funds to local school districts said the issue is not the formula but is legislators not properly funding the formula.

They also questioned what they said was “the secrecy” by the legislative leadership in efforts to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

“There is no need to spend time and money” on a new formula, said Lauren Stubblefield of Utica, a public school parent. “The answer to education’s problem is not vouchers, not school choice. The answer is for the Legislature to do its lawful job and fund the formula.”

She said the formula should be fully funded for seven or eight years and then re-evaluated. MAEP has been fully funded only twice since it was fully enacted in 2003 and has been underfunded about $1.8 million since 2008.

To read more visit DJournal.com

At Mississippi school funding hearing, many say spend more

Jeff Amy | The Sun Herald | Twitter

Seeking public input on possible changes to Mississippi’s education funding formula, many people are telling legislators the most important thing is more money.

A number of speakers at a Thursday hearing were hostile to plans by Republican legislators to change the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which divides $2.2 billion among schools.

“I have yet to be convinced the current formula is in need of revision,” said Rebecca Temple, a Madison County teacher and parent.

They said the main flaw in the status quo is lawmakers’ failure to provide the amount of money called for by the formula. It’s only been fully funded twice since 1997.

“Without a commitment to funding, any formula is no more than public relations,” said Jeremy Eisler of the Mississippi Center for Justice.

To read more visit the Sun Herald

students getting on a school bus10/21/2016 | Raleigh, NC | North Carolina General Assembly

Allotment-Specific and System-Level Issues Adversely Affect North Carolina’s Distribution of K-12 Resources

North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina distributes state funds for the operation of K-12 public schools through a system consisting of 37 different allotments, each of which reflects a component of the education delivery model. For example, there are separate allotments for classroom teachers, textbooks, administration, and transportation. In Fiscal Year 2014–15 the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) distributed $8.4 billion in state funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and charter schools through the allotment system.

The Program Evaluation Division found issues with individual allotments or issues that span numerous allotments, ranging from unintended consequences of particular methods and formulaic policies and procedures to a lack of rationale for the factors used to determine how resources are distributed. The Division also identified deficiencies with the allotment system as a whole resulting from overall system complexity and lapses in the control environment.

Based on these findings, the General Assembly should either overhaul the system for how resources are distributed by transitioning to a weighted student funding model that uses individual students as the building blocks for developing a state’s education budget, or reform the current system by addressing individual allotment deficiencies and providing direction to improve transparency and accountability.

To read the full report, click here

New state report: Myriad flaws, inequities in North Carolina’s system of funding schools

Bill Ball | The Progressive Pulse

A new state report, noting wide-ranging flaws, inequities, and inconsistencies in North Carolina’s complicated method of funding public schools, is calling for a massive revamp of the system.

The report issued this week by the legislature’s nonpartisan Program Evaluation Division (PED), suggested lawmakers either opt for a complete makeover to the allotments that funnel cash toward schools or begin patching up the system.

North Carolina’s weighty system of funding public schools depends on 37 different allotment categories, including, for example, separate categories and funding formulas for textbooks, teachers, and administration.

It’s a “top-down” system of funding for traditional public schools and charters that’s had its fair share of critics nationally in recent years.

To read more visit The Progressive Pulse

Study: NC school funding formula lacks transparency, favors wealthier counties

Kelly Hinchcliffe | WRAL | Twitter

North Carolina lawmakers are considering changes to the way public schools are funded after a study found that the state’s current funding model is too complex, lacks transparency and accountability and at times favors wealthier counties.

The study, compiled by the General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division, was presented to a joint legislative committee Wednesday.

Committee Co-Chairman Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, called the report the “lengthiest and most detailed study” the committee has ever done on K-12 funding in North Carolina. He said it is the first time he is aware of that they “have actually looked at an in-depth review of the specifics” of how school systems and charter schools are funded.

To read more visit WRAL

courtroom interior10/21/2016 | Bridgeport, CT | CT Post

Poll: most say don’t wait for courts to fix school funding

Linda Conner Lambeck | CT Post | Twitter

Most Connecticut voters don’t want to wait for a final court ruling before the state fixes the way public schools are funded, a new survey suggests.

A telephone survey in October of 600 people who voted in the last gubernatorial election found overwhelming support for a decision handed down in September by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher. The ruling found woeful inadequacy in the way the state doles out funding for education.

Even though most respondents were not familiar with the case, 68 percent, when given a brief decision, said they supported the ruling, and 57 percent said the General Assembly should act now to create a plan for improving public education. Another 36 percent would just as soon wait for the appeal to work its way through the state Supreme Court.

To read more visit the CT Post

Oregon corporate tax Measure 97 defeated: Election 2016 Results

Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian | Twitter

The controversial $3 billion corporate tax initiative Measure 97 went down in defeat, according to partial election returns Tuesday night.

Measure 97 was failing 58 percent to 42 percent as of 9:50 p.m.

The defeat follows a hard-fought campaign that broke Oregon’s spending record for ballot initiatives and pitted business interests against the state’s largest public employee unions.

Measure 97 would charge certain C corporations a 2.5 percent tax on their gross annual sales in Oregon above $25 million. The measure called for the state to spend the new revenue on education, health care, and senior services.

Supporters of Measure 97 were still figuring out how to respond Tuesday night. Ben Unger, executive director of the union-affiliated group Our Oregon which backed the measure, suggested a different tax proposal might have fared better with voters. “Clearly, we learned the tonight that the details weren’t right,” Unger said. However, when a reporter asked if the tax rate proposed in Measure 97 was too high, Unger said: “I would be surprised if you talked to very many voters that found that that was the problem.”

To read more visit The Oregonian

Ballston Spa National Bank donates $6,000 to the high school robotics team

Wendy Liberatore | Times Union | Twitter

The Ballston Spa Central School District has once again received support from Ballston Spa National Bank (BSNB) to fund its high school Robotics Team’s participation in the annual US FIRST Robotics competition. The $6,000 in funding, combined with additional corporate sponsorships and team fundraising, will allow the district’s team to design and construct a robot according to this year’s specifications, participate in regional competitions and continue to expand the robotics initiatives to additional students in the district.

“Ballston Spa Central School District continues to be a leader in creating enhanced educational opportunities for students in this region.  We are proud to again partner with them to offer the highly successful robotics initiative.  In addition to several other positive attributes, we believe the program helps improve problem-solving skills and better prepares students for the evolving workplace,” said Christopher R. Dowd, president and CEO of Ballston Spa National Bank.

To read more visit Times Union

InformED Report is brought to you in cooperation with American ED TV and MindRocket Media Group

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