Monday, January 16, 2017

Edbuild: Adjust MAEP to increase funding per student

 Edbuild's recommendations for adjusting the MAEP formula were released today.  The legislature generated much controversy when it hired the company in October to review the formula and determine whether any changes should be made.  The company advised focusing funding on the student rather than the classroom.  It suggested that the legislature should set the minimum base formula per student at $4,840.  The report was just released.  JJ has not had time to review the study but excerpts of the summary are posted below:

  Mississippi’s current funding formula, originally implemented in 1997, provides a base amount per pupil, which is calculated using prior year spending as described above. A 5% increase is provided for each student eligible for free lunch (residing in a household with income up to 130% of the poverty line) through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Free and Reduced Price lunch program. Additional funds for gifted, vocational, alternative, and special education are provided to districts through “add-on” programs. These programs are funded by calculating the number of students enrolled in any of these special programs, converting those counts to the “teacher units” required to serve those students, and multiplying those units by the average salary of such teacher in every district. By funding in this way, a gifted student enrolled in one district may receive dramatically different funding than a similarly situated student in another district because teachers, not students, are being funded in the equation.

Once the total funding for each district is calculated through this formula, the expected local contribution, usually collected through property taxes, is subtracted from each district’s aggregate sum, and the state provides the remaining amount of funding. For most districts, the expected local contribution is 28 mills (or 2 8% of a home’s assessed value for tax purposes). There is an important exception to this practice informally called the “27% rule”. This policy prescribes that no local district will pay for more than 27% of the minimum calculated cost of public education. Therefore if the value of 28 mills exceeds 27% of the total funding for a district, the formula will subtract 27%, which is the lesser of the two. Logically, the districts that benefit from this policy are those that raise the highest amount of local taxes per pupil from a statewide flat tax of 2.8% of taxable property value—meaning that they are the most property wealthy districts in the state As a result, the state is in essence providing a subsidy of almost $120 million to districts that could otherwise generate more funding from local sources to support their schools if expected to contribute at the same tax rate as the rest of the state.

Districts may raise additional resources to support schools beyond the 28-mill minimum. Local contributions are, however, capped at 55 mills and can be increased beyond the cap only in special circumstances Currently only one district remains at the 28 mill minimum. Seventeen are at the state cap, and 13 have already exceeded it.

EdBuild recommends that Mississippi move to a student-centered funding model, often called a “weighted student formula”, which prioritizes student need over district “inputs” and enables a more equitable funding system. Using a weighted student formula ensures that students with special learning needs (and cost considerations) are funded by the state at the same level, no matter where they are enrolled in school This will smooth out large discrepancies in per-student funding between districts in the state.....

 The state’s schools are currently much more reliant on state dollars than the majority of states in the country. Whereas 28% of funding for schools is provided by local dollars in Mississippi, the national average tops 38%. Relying on the state for such a large proportion of schools’ resources, particularly given the 27% “guarantee” that reduces the local funding responsibility for districts with large property tax bases, has the effect of reducing the overall amount of resources available for education in the state. We strongly recommend that the state move away from the 27% rule. We further recommend that the state provide the ability, on an as-needed basis, for districts to exceed the 55-mill cap, especially when state resources are limited or cut Mississippi’s school funding system should encourage those local communities that have the wealth and the resources to do so to assume more of the funding responsibility for their local school district by being held by the state to the minimum 28-mill rate that all other districts must pay....

We recommend base funding between $4,694 and $5,250 At a starting point of $4,840 (near the center of this range), the base funding per pupil will exceed the current effective base funding by $164, or approximately 4% We further recommend a significant increase to the funding per pupil for low-income students, from a supplement of 5% ($249 per student) to a new supplement of between 25 and 30% (at least $1,210 per student) in order to better align with national norms and new research. ...

We recommend a student-focused model that funds classroom needs beyond simply a teacher for gifted and special education students We advise that Mississippi should provide additional funding for English-Language Learners, and for students enrolled in sparsely populated school districts.  We further recommend funding college and career readiness for all high school students in the state, not just those enrolled in vocational programs. We ask that all local districts be expected to contribute a fair, 28-mill share of the formula, and recommend that state resources be provided with equal flexibility to those raised locally. And we recommend that more transparency and accountability be built into the overall fiscal environment.


Anonymous said...

Let me help you with the analysis.

EdBuild is in the business of providing cover for legislators who want to privatize education. They're actually pretty open about this, referring to school district bankruptcy as a "huge opportunity" for privatization in 2015. The "studies" they conduct, and the opaque, clinical-sounding language they use, are meant to distract observers from the pro-privatization product they sell, which is always the same.

The product they sell is an official-sounding recommendation that funding be tied to students, rather than districts. This is an important midpoint on the path to expanding charter schools, then vouchers, then getting the state out of the management of education altogether. Sort of like the "expert witness" who always finds catastrophic injury, you hire these guys to reach a predetermined conclusion. Which is what Tate, et al., did here.

They're not stupid, of course. They will throw in peripheral recommendation here or there to throw you off the scent. But the above will be the core of every single "study" they perform.

Paul Guillory said...

Yall letting them Yankees tell yall how to fund/run schools...

Anonymous said...

Thank you 3:40 - did you get that from Nancy Looney, or from Donner Kay, or maybe Patsy? Anyone that has an idea that suggests there are many other good ways to education our children than the failure of a system we are using now are obviously in a conspiracy and not to be believed.

Appreciate your input - will throw it where it can be useful, on the bottom of my birdcage.

Anonymous said...

...and it takes $112,000 to train a trooper, most of which don't have the sense a fifth grader does.

Anonymous said...

3:40 --

You're right. Charter schools and vouchers are mortifying prospects.

Because government schools have done so well.

Anonymous said...

What a farking surprise. Pay a consultant to tell what you already know and spread your cheeks when they give you the final bill.

Anonymous said...

So we can cut the budget, A LOT, but we are supposed to put more money in education AND fund a trooper school...(troopers would be unnecessary if they would give sheriff's depts radar)

Anonymous said...

Feel is giving raises left and right in state agencies under his control. Don't you just love hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

This is an important midpoint on the path to expanding charter schools, then vouchers, then getting the state out of the management of education altogether.

Excellent. Thanks for sharing that in your "comment". We're not stupid, of course, and were able to discern for ourselves the aromatic objective of your "words".

Pappy O'Daniel said...

And it took Edbuild what, $20,000 per day to come up with this analysis? Once again, there's no money for education but always money for another study by some BS group that turns around and drops cash in PACs...

Anonymous said...

3:40 here. I'm not necessarily opposed to charters. In JPS, they may be the only alternative. I'd hate to see them foisted onto, for example, Desoto County or Clinton.

But all that aside, two facts you can't get around: (1) Data shows charters don't achieve materially better outcomes than public schools, while making the public schools around them slightly worse; and (2) Regardless of what you think about the merits of charters, you the taxpayer just paid for a very expensive sham study, the outcome of which was decided in advance.

Anonymous said...

8:59, we realize your business experience is probably limited to making change for a $10 when somebody ordered their big Mac combo, but let me try to help.

Yes, it is actually good business to spend a little money every now and then to hire fspecialists to study an issue and analyze options.

Spending $250,000 in a one time expenditure to study an annual (that means we do it every year) expenditure of $3 BILLION is not wasteful. Hell it might actually be considered smart investment.

Enough trying to read now - go back and pick up that customers fries.

Anonymous said...

I don't think 90% of the commenters on this site could pass the Biology 1 state exam.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit put off that those recommending changes to an educational system have such poor writing skills.

However, those advocating or denouncing charter schools don't seem to understand that " one size" doesn't " fit all". How a charter system is set up by the State matters.

I don't think most proponents understand that charter schools tend to specialize. Charter schools for the " gifted" or for " arts" or for " foreign language immersion" are created.

Nor do you realize that charter schools get to " pick" their students. The criteria can vary but there is no guarantee that your little Johnny or Jane will be accepted into a charter school.

In some States, charters exist only through middle school and then the kids move into public high schools and if lucky, get to take AP or college credit courses assuming you have a college or university nearby.

So when y'all are discussing " charters", what exactly are you thinking it will be like? Are you imagining that your kids are smarter than any black children and they will be going to a majority white school?

Do you imagine that we will be building new charter schools? With what money? You really believe that the " private" charter can make a profit after creating a modern school from scratch? hahahaha!

I can tell you, since my grandchildren are in a charter system, that what you imagine may or may not be what your child's class or school actually looks like. Indeed, when charters specialize and exist, they often exist in an existing public school building in their own wing. You may well be driving your little darling to a " bad" neighborhood to go to school as my daughter has done.

It would benefit some of you to actually look at " privatization" of government as well. Have the contracts on military bases actually saved tax dollars? The privatization of prisons? Oh, initially it does. That's how the foot gets in the door. What don't you understand about the government giving all the start up in plant and equipment to the contractor with little or no depreciated compensation to you and you paid for it?

It's really easy to teach children who don't have behavioral problems that disrupt a classroom, who are healthy and who have average or above IQs. And, that's what you had long ago in neighborhood schools. If the neighborhoods were filled with successful people, the schools had a manageable population of students with problems. But, then take away from that school all the students who were bright and who were popular role models with leadership and social skills that the teachers could reward and send them to private school or home school them. Who's left?

It's about poverty people and the kids who suffer all the effects of poverty from conception. Not about race. Sorry. I know it'd be easier if it were.

Studies for Two Hundred, Alex.. said...

Easy to spot those who simply fall in line behind the proponents of studies and more-studies. Are they trying to defend the decision to throw this money down a rat-hole? Yes. Obviously.

"This is what was recommended by an independent study/analysis/consultant" has always been the clarion call trumpeted from the people who hire others to tell them what they want to hear.

Pay me two hundred bucks and I will email you the results of my study. Wait, hell, here it is for free: Put boys in one school, girls in another, all wear uniforms. And issue paddles to a psychologist who will roam the halls. And keep the single-parent mommas the hell out of the hallways. If a boy or girl disrupts the process twice, send his/her ass packing. Next?

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit put off ...

... those advocating or denouncing ... don't seem to understand ...

I don't think

Nor do you realize

So when y'all are discussing ... what exactly are you thinking it will be like?

Are you imagining ...?

Do you imagine ...?


I can tell you ... that what you imagine may or may not be ...

You may well be ...

It would benefit some of you to actually look ...

What don't you understand about ...?

Sorry. I know it'd be easier ...

Anonymous said...

It's obvious on what many of the white legislators and their supporters in this state want to do.

They want to ramp up this so-called "charter" school system and convert many of the segregated academy's across Mississippi into Charter schools.

Then they will ramp up the school vouchers and those same parents will not have to pay for their kids to attend a segregated academy, better known as a charter school.

Anonymous said...

How about reducing the amount of money per child. Ms. is the dumbest state in the U.S. We should accept it and stop wasting money on something that isn't likely to change. The people who make the decisions have already decided Ms. isn't worth trying to educate all of the kids.

Anonymous said...

8:38's question about "what do you imagine charters will look like" is a good one.

In my experience, most non-educators imagine Morgan Freeman coming in with a bullhorn and a paddle and whipping black kids into shape with tough love. One really bad kid (usually a gang member) gets run out of the school by the hard-nosed principal, which causes all the other semi-bad kids to magically turn into good kids. Then "one year later" flashes across the screen, and you see the same black kids, now with neat haircuts and pressed uniforms, giving apples to their teachers and acing the AP exams. Finally, the really bad gang member comes back, graduates, and becomes a teacher.

I guess if you're a middle aged white guy who's never worked in a failing school, this might seem plausible.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that they recommend moving away from ADA and to enrollment for funding- something those overpaid, lazy admins have been asking for. It is also interesting that they recommend funding for ELL students. (again, those pesky admins)And, that they recommend an impressive increase for students in poverty. (They also move the bar on what poverty is, but still in line with what admins/schools have been saying) They don't point out excessive admin costs. They do mention the very rural nature of our state and the economies of scale that cause higher than average costs because of it- but no smoking gun towards admin costs at all.

The tricky part is that they agree more funding is needed, but rather than talk about per student dollars in comparison to other states they look at the percentage of total cost in state vs local dollars. She also said that they are recommending that more money be spent per student, but that the state lower its percentage of the per student support, but aren't advocating a local tax increase. Hmmmmm- can you say unfunded mandate? So, if you are in an area that has a tax base your rates will go up and your schools will be OK. If you live in an area where there is already a dry well things are going to get interesting.

Anonymous said...

I would seriously encourage you to look into what is going on with the newest charter school on North Side Drive.

They are doing their best, and starting a new school is always difficult, but the management culture and the way the organization is set up has led to some pretty significant staff turnover. They don't even have a history teacher over there right now.

Do an in-depth analysis, talk to people in the community, both those who have pulled their kids out and those who are keeping their kids in.

I'm in favor of established, charter programs with long historical records of success and reversing education trends. If we are going to expand this charter school approach then we really need to put in some checks and balances in place to make sure the right school networks are coming in and significantly impacting change.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:58am

"How about reducing the amount of money per child"

Well they already tried that angle when schools were "separate but equal" and it didn't work back then.

Anonymous said...

Quite a narrow group of people of which @10:17 AM associates.

Studies For 200, Alex.. said...

No, 10:17, you are incorrect. I gave the suggestion to separate by sex and kick unruly kids out of school.

Actually, contrary to your opinion of my suggestion, I don't give a rat's ass what becomes of the malcontent who gets his unruly ass expelled after two incidents. That's not a problem for the education system. Let some other community based organization worry about it. He'll wind up dead or in Parchman get him the hell out of the school equation. And Morgan Freeman too.

It is not the responsibility of civil society to embrace and coddle these little urchins who refuse to assimilate. Now, back to your little cubicle at the State Ed. Department.

Anonymous said...

How would you know 10:49? Disgruntled?

Anonymous said...

9:42 - please back up your two 'basic facts'. Frankly, they are both bulls**t. Where / what 'data' shows that charters don't achieve materially better outcomes than public schools. Where/what data shows that where charters exist the public schools around them become slightly worse?

You cannot provide 'unbiased' and factual data that shows either of these so-called facts.

And to call this consultant's study a "very expensive sham study" is more b/s. What basis do you make what you call a fact to show that this was either (1) very expensive, (2) a sham, or (3) results predetermined?

I'll be waiting to see what you claim to be "TWO FACTS YOU CAN'T GET AROUND'. Frankly, this appears to be two so-called (by you) facts, that you can't support.

Anonymous said...

8:38 / Jan 17th, its easy to write extensively about crap you seem to not understand. The comparison for this discussion does not have to do with how charters may exist in other states, how they are formed, how they are regulated, or how they may or may not specialize.

MS has a very specific charter law. Yes, a charter could offer to establish a specialized charter, as you say for the "arts" or for "science". But so far, the charter providers have not offered to do so in MS. BUT, the state has. MS operates a 'public school' for the gifted (Math and Science) and for the Arts (Brookhaven). While they are what could be considered charters, they were formed totally outside that concept and just as special schools where those privileged may attend. We also have 'magnet' schools in some districts that specialize in these concepts - they too are not charters but fit your description.

The charters that exist in MS do not fall into any of the descriptions that you try to enumerate. They exist in the absolute inner city; they don't get to cherry pick their students; they do provide their facilities using only the dollars that transfer from the school district. In other words, they have to finance all of their operations from the state and local support allocated to students but without the tax/bond authority to pay the infrastructure cost. Interesting how they can successfully do that, but that's a story for another day.

Anonymous said...

9:53, you are so omnipotent. The existing charters in MS are - almost - what you describe. They do seem to be segregated academies. Problem is, they are not "WHITE" as you describe. Maybe you ought to get your head out of your asshole and go by and see how this really operates before you spout your theology.

Anonymous said...

2:03 -- With respect to my claim on charters' effectiveness, start with the 2009 RAND Corporation study. RAND is far from left leaning, so you shouldn't have credibility objections. I don't want to overwhelm you, so go read that, come back here and tell me what it says, and then I'll give you another piece to read.

As to your question about the sham study, I cite the fact that literally every "study" EdBuild has ever produced has as its main recommendation tying funds to students, as opposed to districts. For example, take a look at their May 2016 recommendations to Connecticut, which could not be more different from Mississippi but got the same prescription: "Tie funds to students, not districts."

With respect to the "expensive" claim, I'm citing the contract itself, which puts the price at $125,000, which is expensive for copy-pasting your boilerplate analysis and changing a handful of numbers.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

3:25 - the cost of the study was actually $250k, with half of it paid for by a donation. But regardless, $250,000 for a study such as this is not 'very expensive" - in fact it is quite cheap. Your suggestion (accusation?) that it is boilerplate analysis is a nice statement, but like your previous claims, just because you say it doesn't make it fact.

Truth of the matter, if they had come back and recommended that the state implement a formula that matched exactly the current MAEP formula, you would have found fault with it because of who and how it was recommended.

The RAND study does not come up with the same analysis as you stated earlier. Furthermore, it finds different results depending on how the charters are formed and where they are. Hardly fact based for comparison.

STUDY THIS! said...

Alex for 200 is right. Forget charters, studies, more dollars and degreed failures sitting in the Department of Ed cubicles.

What matters that is missing from the equation, and the only thing that will turn things around is discipline. The courts, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, most eggheads performing studies and all the people at the State Department have succeeded in killing off discipline.

Whether you're talking about the military, a family setting, a football team, a NASCAR group or people gutting and packaging hogs, in the absence of discipline you have a poor outcome.

3:25 is full of himself, but nothing else said...

2:03 here. I am familiar with the RAND study that you reference and cite as the basis for the "facts" in your post. You fail to mention that the study was primarily conducted in major big cities (Chicago, Detroit, i.e.) and also included Ohio which has 'virtual charter schools'. The study as I remember it found that the students at charter high schools had a higher graduation rate than the similar schools that the students came from - except in Ohio's virtual schools. (NOTE: MS does not have virtual charters, but who's counting details?) And also that the charter high school graduates had a higher percentage of attending college following their graduation.

A higher graduation rate and a higher percentage that attend college - the two results from the study you 'supposedly' quote and reference, do not support your claim of the obvious fact.

The RAND study, as I remember it said that the charters did not affect the schools around it. The question they were studying, though, was whether the schools around it would "IMPROVE" because of the existence, and therefore the competition, of the charter. It found that the charter did not have an affect, either positive or negative, on the surrounding school. So now, please find another source to support your "obvious facts".

Your statement about EdBuild is just as flawed as your original statement about charters, and has no more proof of it than your claim of what RAND study shows. The cost and benefit of the study has been adequately addressed by others above, so I am not going to try to repeat or continue to discuss it. As noted, you - and your friends - would not accept anything in the EdBuild study even if it took yours and Nancy's talking points directly and inserted them, because all you want to do is decry anything coming out of this legislative leadership.

Anonymous said...

Read the report. It should be named school property tax increase proposal. All the folks that signed the no new tax pledge need to be aware

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is paying for help from EdBuild, an organization funded by Bill Gates, the Walton Foundation, and CAP (funded by George Soros and it's president is John Podesta)among others.???

Does that even sound like it would help Mississippi to rebuild its educational system?

People like this are probably contributing to the problem. Who chose this group to "study" the issue in Mississippi....

Rebuild education to give these children critical thinking skills and a real education they can use to build a life around.

Why did the feds take over our education system anyway? Never a good idea or a good intention.

Common sense is not common enough anymore.

Anonymous said...

2:03 -- The RAND 2009 study found, quote, "In five out of seven locales, these nonprimary charter schools are producing achievement gains that are, on average, neither substantially better nor substantially worse than those of local TPSs. In Chicago (in reading) and in Texas (in both reading and math), charter middle schools appear to be falling short of traditional public middle schools."

Good on you for noticing the graduation data, but subsequent studies that better control for student cherry-picking tend to show no effect there, either.

Anonymous said...

2:09 pm You are correct.

The State to which I referred had charter schools in the arts and math in science that were pre-existing as well. They have had charter schools since 1991 and have created a major new bureaucracy in the State.

Another state with which I'm familiar instituted charters in counties in 2011 and now has 50. They will soon have 67.

The point is that like other government contracts, the initial goals which sold the idea to the public aren't met and the costs per student is higher , not lower.

I suspect many voters as was true in the states with which I am familiar, think that charter schools will be available to their children and that's not the case.

You might also want to look at the average income of the parents of charter school children or look at how many free lunches charter children are eligible to get. Look at the decline in enrollment in private and church sponsored schools in those states.

9:31 am I'm sorry you if you are offended by my choice of words and phrases. Be careful, some commenters on this site call people "crybabies" for taking offense at less delicate choices of words and milder criticism.

Anonymous said...

Saw on the local news there is one school that spends more than $22,000 per child on education. That my friend, is a lot of crooked people. There isn't any possible reason to spend that much per child. The school admin has to carry guns in that school.

If You Intended To Lose Me.. said...

After having read the entire thing, I've learned nothing from this discussion. So I guess I need another reading assignment.

Anonymous said...

9:42 - Good try, but your statement falls on its face, even after you try to defend it. Your statement:

"But all that aside, two facts you can't get around: (1) Data shows charters don't achieve materially better outcomes than public schools, while making the public schools around them slightly worse; and (2) Regardless of what you think about the merits of charters, you the taxpayer just paid for a very expensive sham study, the outcome of which was decided in advance."

When questioned on your "TWO FACTS" - your first you answered with one sentence from the (later suggested) study that says that these nonprimary charter schools are producing achievement gains that are, on average, neither substantially better nor substantially worse than those of local TPSs. But you also acknowledge that the charters have a better graduation rate than do the public, and also acknowledge that the charters have a better college admission/attendance.

So - your first of TWO FACTS may be partially true by the one statement that you quote which makes them even, but doesn't address the second part, which makes charters achieve better. Maybe a half point here.

But -- you fail to address the fact that your referenced study says exactly the opposite of the second part of your so-called 'fact'.

And, of course, you fail to provide anything at all to defend your second so-called 'fact'.

Thanks for playing, though. We will get you a participation trophy. Pick it up at Nancy's office on your way home this afternoon.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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