According to the U.S. Department of Education, DeVos announced a new flexibility program to make student-centered funding systems under a pilot program authorized by ESSA. School districts will be allowed to combine eligible Federal funds with State and local funds to allocate resources to schools based on the number of students and level of need. Districts awarded flexibility will no longer face implications preventing them from implementing a student-centered funding system.
Districts are expected to design and implement a student-centered funding system if they receive the flexibility. The funding system must meet all requirements of the pilot program to receive the flexibility including the use of weights that allocate substantially more funding to students who are educationally disadvantaged. Districts that receive the flexibility must assure that parents, teachers, school leaders, and other relevant stakeholders are consulted in the development and implantation of a student-centered funding system.
About the new flexibility program:
- Applications open Feb 7, 2018 and are due March 12, 2017 for the 2018-2019 school year
- All local education agencies can apply
- Applications are available on the Department of Education website starting February 7, 2018
- The program only awards flexibility, not a financial award