Since it’s funding formula time in RI again, here’s a list of things I’d change, in no particular order.

  1. Use AEWAV for state share of pension costs.
  2. Increase state aid significantly that goes through the formula— say at least 25% over 5 years.
  3. Lower base and add weights for home language (ELL proxy not determined by school staff) or “ever ELL” (ELL, but count a student who was ever and ELL and not just current).
  4. Fully fund high cost SPED circuit breaker. Add a weight for high service percent per day SPED students, probably somewhere around 50% in service.
  5. Double pay about 5% on charters (districts hold back 5% of total per pupil, state kicks that in extra for charters). Require districts offer underutilized space to charters with something like right of first refusal to try and reduce overall systems capital costs. Districts should risk forfeiting 5% if fail to offer space to charters.
  6. Consider state wide minimum property/land tax to raise more money to go through the formula, reducing incentive/ability for high wealth districts to raise so much from local taxes the overall distribution of spending becomes highly regressive.