School finance is a major issue throughout the United States. The distribution of school funds is completed using different methods throughout. The correct process must be selected to accommodate wealthy and poor districts. Local school districts are affected by the distribution of funds based on the value of the property in the district. Concerned citizens can be prepared for school district changes in revenue by staying informed of what is occurring in their community. State Distributions Distribution of educational funds to school districts in the state of Texas is a major job.
The Texas Education Agency has the privilege of providing and distributing money for all 8061 public and charter schools in Texas. Currently, the money is distributed using WADA “Weighted Average Daily Attendance” as the main deciding factor. ‘WADA’ is the number of students in weighted average daily attendance, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the school district’s allotments under Subchapters B and C, less any allotment to the district for transportation, any allotment under Section 42.
158, and 50 percent of the adjustment under Section 42. 02, by the basic allotment for the applicable year. (Texas Education Agency) If given the job of distributing state dollars to all the schools in Texas, one must consider property taxes and the “Robin Hood” rules in addition to using the WADA method.
Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code makes provisions for certain school districts to share their local tax revenue with other school districts. (TEA) In Texas districts are considered to be wealthy or poor in relation to property. A school district that is onsidered to be wealthy is required to share their wealth with poor property school districts. This method of sharing funds helped to create the title “Robin Hood”. The funds that are distributed by the property-wealthy districts are “recaptured” by the school finance system to assist with the financing of public education in school districts that are property poor. (TEA) This method of allocating funds is not favored by the wealthy districts. One reason wealthy districts do not agree with “Robin Hood” is due to some of the recaptured funds have been also going to local charter schools.
Although there has been a major controversy behind the “Robin Hood” method, Texas has continued to distribute fund using this method to poor property school districts. School districts are allowed to gain some of the recaptured funds back by applying for different grants offered by the state. Some districts have obtained up to $40,000 for half of the schools in their district. Some states do not use the WADA method of distributing school funds. Average Daily Membership is another method used to help states with the distribution of school funds.
The ADM allows states to grant funding based upon the school data from the previous school year. This can be a hindrance if the number projected was too high. If the number is too high, the school district must repay the overage that was received. There are several advantages for using the ADA method when distributing school funds. One advantage of using ADA is it can be used as an incentive for school districts who desire to improve attendance. Students will normally attend school regularly when there is a reward or something extrinsic in it for them.
The shift from ADM to ADA would certainly increase the financial incentives that school districts have to maintain a high level of attendance throughout the year. ”(ADA vs. ADM) Providing more money to poor school districts does not guarantee cost-quality relationships among districts. According to research completed by Cole and Jencks, studies seem to indicate that cost(as evidenced in such things as salaries and facilities) have only a minor effect on achievement of students when compared with the much larger effect of their intelligence and family background. Brimley 2008) However, to equalize funds and maximize cost quality relationships grants and incentives are good places to start. School districts have to find ways to hire knowledgeable and committed teachers. One way to draw the knowledgeable teacher is to offer stipends for teacher shortage areas and sign on bonuses. Districts must continue to offer some type of incentives to maintain good teachers. Teacher tenure is another great incentive but can sometimes cause good teachers to become too laidback.
Tenure grants educators “a right, term, or mode of holding or occupying something of value for a period of time. ” (Tenure) Basically, tenure in the education realm grants what some would call stability or even security. Local Area Changes School districts experience changes in educations on a regular basis. Some of these changes occur as a result of local, state, and/or federal issues. One way to prepare for local changes that are related to revenue and expenditures is to stay informed. Attending school board, PTA, and city council meetings is a good way to stay informed on what is occurring in your local area.
The problem of financing education once, considered the responsibility of only a few specialist with vested interests in the schools—boards of education, school administrators, state departments of education, and state legislatures—developed into a priority item for virtually all citizens. (Brimley 2008) All citizens are allowed to attend school board meeting which are normally held once a month during the school year. Citizens may also participate in the local schools PTA for updates on their local school district. By attending school board and PTA meetings, citizens can hear first hand what is occurring in their local school district.
This would eliminate citizens from hearing second hand information from the media. The local news and newspaper are always informative about upcoming changes in the aspects of educational funds. Some of the changes that involve revenue and expenditures in a local area could include increases in property and school taxes. There could also be a reduction in force as a result of economic factors. Student-teacher ratios and school transfers are also changes that may occur during revenue and expenditure changes within a school district. A reduction in force is the Department-wide lay off or demotion of one or more employees as the result of a shortage of work or funds, a change in organization, or otherwise. ”(Reduction in Force) Some districts may also request the community to vote on school bonds. These school bonds could cause taxpayers to experience an increase in property, school and county taxes. Conclusion In conclusion, education is considered to be very important to citizens throughout the United States. Most states have to attempt to equally distribute educational funds using the ADA or ADM method.
Other factors must be included as well when states are distributing funds. Taxpayers normally do not want an increase in property tax for education. Therefore, they must stay abreast as to what changes are occurring in their community with regards to education. Taxpayers may stay abreast by attending school board and city council meetings to see what is occurring in and around their local community.
ADA vs ADM. Retrieved on May 17, 2008 from http://www. buckeyeinstitute. org/article/344 Brimley, V. (2008) Financing Education. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Reduction in Force. Retrieved on May 16, 2008 from http://www. dtae. org/dtaepolicy/docs/03-02-06. html TEA. Retrieved on May 17, 2008 from http://www. tea. state. tx. us/school. finance/funding/ch41/ch41manual_08. doc “Tenure. ” West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2nd Ed. Ed. Jeffrey Lehman and Shirelle Phelps. Gale Group, Inc. , 2005. eNotes. com. 2006. 19 Apr, 2008 http://www. enotes. com/wests-law-encyclopedia/tenure Texas Education Agency. Retrieved on May 17, 2008 from http://www. tea. state. tx. us/school. finance/funding/ch41/ch41manual_08. doc
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School Funding. (2017, Feb 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/school-funding/