Weighted student funding isn't just a topic for wonkish debate anymore-regular citizens are starting to get interested, too. Reason's Lisa Snell profiles parents and students who have benefited from San Francisco's school funding program, which allocates public education dollars based on individual student needs. Those dollars then follow each child to the public school of his or her choice. Some successful variations of the formula are currently in place in other cities as well, including Seattle, Cincinnati, and Houston. It's notable that this school finance system, which decentralizes power and instills greater parental choice among city public schools, is so staunchly supported in San Francisco. Frisco parents typically "don't support education tax credits or school vouchers" and are generally opposed to charter schools. Yet this initiative has the (worthwhile) potential to make the regular public schools more charter-like. And as a forthcoming Fordham Institute manifesto will demonstrate, weighted student funding is starting to win favor with policy thinkers of all stripes. You might even call it a seismic shift in education policy, San Fran style.
"The Agony of American Education: How per student funding can revolutionize public schools," Lisa Snell, Reason Magazine, April 2006