Senate Joint Resolution Number 4 created the Education Funding Improvement Commission to review and make recommendations to modernize and improve Delaware’s System for Funding Public Education. The chair of this commission is former State Representative Scott from Dover. My impression from working with him on the House Education Committee, he is a big supporter of a weighted funding formula. I do not support removing the unit count; I support enhancing it by adding a weighted funding formula, like the state does for Special Education.
Note: The state does not fund Basic Special Education kindergarten through 3rd grades. I filed House Bill 30 last year, it is currently in House Appropriations Committee, this would add Basic Special Education funding for kindergarten through 3rd grades.
After attending the meeting this week, I got the impression that the recommendations may already be developed, I could be wrong. I think we are heading down a dangerous road if the unit count is removed completely. Just because something has been in place for many years does not always mean it is a bad thing. Lets see if this commission and WEIC Funding Student Success Committee agree on each others recommendations.
The commission is suppose to make recommendations regarding the following:
(1) Transitioning to a student-focused funding system and weighting funding based on demographic characteristics of students.
(2) Introducing more flexibility for the state, districts, and schools to raise and spend resources more effectively for their students.
(3) Improving the way revenues are collected and allocated for education throughout the State.
The Commission may also consider the following topics:
(1) The amount of funding necessary to prepare a student to be successful.
(2) More effective uses of current funding sources.
(3) Those groups of students that would benefit the most from receiving additional funding, such as low-income students, high-need students, rural students, and English language learners, and the amount of resources or nature of support that those groups would need to be successful.
(4) Adequacy of resources available for students with special needs.
(5) Whether additional resources are needed to better serve students who are homeless, have behavior challenges, or are adjudicated delinquent.
(6) Whether, and how, different types of funding should be allocated, including operational funds, capital funds, and grants.
(6) Ways to provide more flexibility for schools and districts to use funding to best serve student needs.
(7) Current and future system resource constraints and demographic trends.