The state should have a weighted student formula: a per-pupil amount that is increased for students with more resource-intensive needs.
The recommended structure is a weighted student formula. The calculation begins with a base amount—the standard per-pupil allocation. The base is adjusted upward through the application of weights, or multipliers, for categories of students with greater needs (e.g. English-language learners, economically disadvantaged students, and those with disabilities). This approach aligns with key principles: adequacy, through endeavoring to give districts enough for all students; equity, through the responsiveness to differing needs; responsibility, because districts can choose how to spend when funding attaches to the student rather than a program or input; and transparency, which is aided by the ability to match the calculation to counts of students with particular needs. Funding counts should be based on the number of students enrolled in the district—that is, all students for which the district is responsible, not just those in attendance. A student with multiple special needs should generate the full value of all the weights for which they are eligible.
- Hawaii: See Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302A-1303.5-302A-1303.6 (2020).
- Kentucky: See Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 157.360 (2020).
- North Dakota: See N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 15.1-27-03.1 (2020).
- Oklahoma: See Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 18-201.1 (2020).