Rhode Island has about 169,000 students attending K12. And local governments and school districts spend about US$10,000 on each of these students, give or take a few hundred bucks. But not all of that money was going to students. There were some problems with student and local dollars going to politically expedient coffers. It had been happening for a long time. Well, not anymore.
Rhode Island has fixed a big budget problem for students. We should all be happy. If you have been reading the news lately, you understand why thinking about the costs of running a school has become the most important item on anyone’s agenda. States are running huge deficits and they will not be out of the woods for another few years.
Rhode Island is one of a few recent successful state efforts are improving budgeting decisions in education, so that money actually flows to and follows the students.
From the Rhode Island story linked above:
Best of all, that funding is connected to students provides some built-in accountability. As parents move their children to better-performing districts and charter schools, the money will essentially go with them. Communities that are doing the best job, therefore, can, to some degree, expect the most aid. That will put stronger pressure on local leaders to do what is right for the students.