Results-Based Funding Formula Rewards Fewer Students in Poverty

AZEdNews article Results-based funding bypasses vulnerable students

KJZZ interviews ASBA Director of Research, Dr. Aportela:
Results-Based School Funding Not Going Where It’s Needed Most

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In September 2017, 288 public schools across the state received the first distribution of results-based funding. Touted by Governor Doug Ducey as a way to help successful schools, especially those serving high-poverty populations, reach more students, the net effect has been the opposite.

ASBA analyzed the results and found that the bulk of the funding has been awarded to schools with low levels of poverty (state average poverty level is 58%).

Despite the higher $400 per pupil amount, awards to fewer schools with fewer students result in this skewed distribution below:
  • 62% of the $38.6M dollars in awards are to low-poverty schools (those receiving $225 per pupil)
  • 74% of the 150,191 students in schools receiving an award are enrolled in low-poverty schools (those receiving $225 per pupil)

Public schools receiving results-based funding awards also serve fewer:

  • Students in poverty
  • Students with disabilities
  • English learners
  • Latino, African American, Native American students than the state average.

Things to Consider for 2018-19

Results-based funding awards largely reflect the background of students in a school and not necessarily the impact that a school has on student learning.

  • Standardized test scores, used as a snapshot, are strongly correlated to student poverty. This is why there is so much work in education to develop measures of student growth such as value-added or student growth percentiles.