[gsis_admins] Funding Changes

  • From: Samantha Mimbs <samantha.mimbs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: gsis_admins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:02:00 -0500

This was sent to me last week.

The Funding Subcommittee of the Governor's Education Reform Commission met
today for what it hopes will be its final meeting. As planned, they voted
on the recommendations to move forward to the full Commission next week.
All the Subcommittees worked hard, but this group had the hardest, most
closely scrutinized task.

They asked for more time to work on this redesign and the Governor gave it
to them. They asked for more money rather than just basing this on the
amount appropriated this year, and they appear to have gotten the ok on
that up to a certain level. The legislators on the Subcommittee have also
made it clear that they expect to continue to add back funding as the
economy continues to grow and revenue becomes available. The Governor's
staff kept going back to the drawing board to meet the Subcommittee's
requests, so congratulations to all of them for getting this done ahead of
the December 18th deadline and in a way that moves in the right direction
for students.

Is everybody happy with it? No, but that's part of the art of compromise.

*How'd it end up?*

The proposal is very close to our previous description; we'll recap the
changes below. This *narrative*
the various parts, the amount generated by each, and how that compares with
that earned under QBE. The spreadsheet showing the effect by district is
available *here* <https://gov.georgia.gov/materials-1>.

There will be a base amount earned for each student plus weighted amounts
for each characteristic of the student. For example, for a first grader
who is gifted and in ESOL the district would earn:

the base + the K-3 weight + the gifted weight + the ESOL weight = $4,189

Grades 4-5 have been added as a weighted group, so the base is now grades 6
-8. They noted that thecentral office amount is not full funding but about
$40,000 for each position. CTAE funding will not be tiered or prioritized
by topic. The low enrollment grant now includes a minimum millage rate
requirement -- it was set the same as it is for equalization.

On teacher compensation, the staff recommended that the state not provide
models for districts to use but instead provide guidance.

The summary shows an additional $258 million is needed to fund this. The
$17 million increase from the last summary is due to the inclusion of
additional charter systems in 2018.

Several changes were made in the meeting:

House Appropriations Chair Terry England made a multi-part motion that
passed: the additional $258 million proposed here for the '18 budget would
be a permanent addition and the remaining $209 million of the 2016
austerity cut would be added as available; state virtual school funding
would be left unchanged; and the eleven districts and two state virtual
charters receiving less in the bottom line would be held harmless for three

Senate Education Chair Lindsey Tippens wanted to get more funding for
grades 4-5 to ensure proficiency in the four math functions by the end of
grade five. His proposal to add $59 million more failed as did a motion to
shift that amount from the gifted to this category. They will include a
statement that funding for grades 4-5 should be increased as funds become

House Education Appropriations Chair Tom Dickson was concerned that schools
below the base size were not earning funds for a principal. They left the
funding for principals in the base but an adjustment will be made to ensure
that each school earns a principal.

Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks proposed changing the funding ratio for
teachers from 1:26.25 in the base to1:25. This would help the teachers and
students and would leave nobody on the hold harmless list. They decided to
include a statement that this should happen as more funding becomes

*How'd they do?*

There are a couple of ways to evaluate the new structure -- comparing it to
QBE and looking at it simply as a funding formula. QBE has ended up as
more of a mirage than anything else. It was designed to be much more than
a funding formula, but many pieces of it were never implemented. As a
funding formula, it has always been described as underfunded. Back in the
'90's -- long before austerity cuts -- it was judged to be at least a
billion dollars underfunded. Then the austerity cuts started, so it's been
a long time sinceQBE was anywhere close to what it was intended to be if it
ever was.

A funding formula is generally expected to have certain characteristics:

Adequacy -- we've had no cost study, so there is no way to judge that one
and it seems to be irrelevant in this age of pragmatism where we focus on
using what we have the best way we can

Equity -- this seems to be much more equitable for students across the
state with a lot of attention paid to the small, rural districts

Transparency -- we need to work on that by ensuring clear information on
the calculation of the base and how it will be calculated going forward

Predictability -- clearing up the transparency issues will help with this
one; including something that pushes future reviews and updates will also
help as there is no inflation factor included so far; a minimum state
salary schedule would also help teachers have some idea what to expect

Flexibility -- as long as the district signs a contract with the state, the
use of the funding is left up to the local board and superintendent;
districts that don't sign a contract will be subject to all the rules and
expenditure controls -- it's not clear if that means we leave the QBE rules
on the books or make new ones

This will take a massive change in thinking about how we do things as we
shift from thinking about the programs we must offer to what students need,
from how the state requires you to spend funding to how the money can best
be used, and from working from a salary schedule to deciding how you want
to compensate your staff. Good thing we're all lifelong learners.
*Best Regards,*
*Samantha Mimbs* Data Coordinator, Monroe County Schools
[image: photo]
Phone: 478-994-2031 <478-994-2031>
Email: samantha.mimbs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <samantha.mimbs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Website: http://www.monroe.k12.ga.us <http://www.monroe.k12.ga.us/>
Address: 25 Brooklyn Ave Forsyth, GA 31029

*IMPORTANT: The contents of this email and any attachments are
confidential. They are intended for the named recipient(s) only. If you
have received this email by mistake, please notify the sender immediately
and do not disclose the contents to anyone or make copies thereof.*


Other related posts: