Members of Community District Education Council 22 (CEC 22) met virtually on Tuesday evening, March 1st for an enlightening presentation on Fair Student Funding (FSF), the primary funding source for most community district schools.
As was explained, each school’s FSF allocation is calculated based on the number of students enrolled at each school and the specific needs of those students using a method called a “weighted pupil-funding model,” which is influenced by a number of factors. Student poverty, a need for academic intervention, accommodations for English Language Learners and students with special needs are all taken into consideration. Interestingly, the proposed weights for 2022-2023 remain unchanged from 2021-2022.
Those in attendance were very pleasantly surprised to learn that, this year, FSF is fully funded for the first time ever. It was explained that in April 2021, the State Legislature committed to a full phase-in of State Foundation Aid, a primary source in the FSF formula. As a result, all schools were funded at 100% of their FSF formula in School Year 2021-2022. The $600 million investment has already impacted 1,100 schools and 700,000 students, and federal stimulus funding is temporarily supporting the formula while funding is still being phased in.
The presentation was one of the first steps in the budget process, as the public has the opportunity to weigh in before the Department of Education releases budget allocations to schools. Then, Principals and their School Leadership Teams will propose budgets for the coming year, and Superintendents will certify alignments between school budgets and Comprehensive Education Plans for the coming year.
The next meeting of CEC 22 will be held on Tuesday, April 4th at 6:30 p.m.