Five Ways Advocates Decode Funding Formulas  
February 2, 2018

School finance advocacy often requires advocates to break down an extremely complicated issue in a way that legislators, reporters, parents, and the general public can easily understand. Below are five examples of effective tactics PIE Network members have used to make school finance less complicated and more actionable.

  • The League of Education VotersSide-by-Side comparison of education funding bills organizes the differences between five different funding proposals in a way that is fact-based and non-biased. This document helps to position LEV as a resource on the topic.

  • For their report, A Formula that Works, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio brought in outside consultants to do a deep dive into Ohio’s funding formula and make recommendations on how to improve the formula. Since the report specifically digs into Ohio’s funding system, it has the benefit of building knowledge in the state on the issue and can serve as a launching point for future dialogue.
  • Much of the story of Illinois funding reform has already been shared. When the legislature was mulling over SB1 (the bill that ultimately passed into law), Advance Illinois and the Funding Illinois Future coalition put together a data visualization to demonstrate how the new bill would impact funding on a district-by-district level. This tool, among many other reports and publications, helped educate stakeholders on the benefits of the bill.

  • One complicated and inequitable component of Mississippi’s funding formula is an odd provision known as the 27% rule. To explain this rule and who it benefits, Mississippi First put together a video, posted to their Facebook page, of their executive director breaking down the rule and how it impacts school funding in the state.
  • In 2016, five organizations in Connecticut came together as the state looked into how to reform their funding system to release a document to serve as a guide for any future proposals. The report, Design Principles for a New School Funding Formula in Connecticut, serves as a guide and benchmark for future proposals.

Lukas Boehning

Lukas is PIE Network's Manager, Policy and Research

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