EdBuild Proposal Includes No Formula for Base Student Cost Calculation

1/23/2017

The EdBuild proposal does not include a recommendation for the most important component, a formula to annually calculate the Base Student Cost. In EdBuild’s proposal, the base cost is the basic level of funding allocated for a “typical” student. More funding for students with additional needs is derived using “multipliers” that are percentages of the base student cost. Small changes in the base cost can have a significant positive or negative impact on each school district’s total funding.

With no objective formula in the law, the amount of the base cost will be left up to the Legislature to determine from year to year. Whatever legislators decide to appropriate will be “sufficient,” according to the law.

In the absence of a formula to require that the base student cost keep pace with inflation or legislative mandates, education funding is likely to remain stagnant indefinitely. Schools will go further into the red with each passing year due to inflation, teacher salary “step” increases, and new mandates. As costs increase and funding remains stagnant, programs and teachers will be lost.