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Atlanta Public Schools

District Partner 2008-2010, 2017-present

ERS is partnering with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to support the rollout of a student-based budgeting funding system (APS refers to this as student-success funding, but it's also known as fair student funding or student-centered funding) for the 2018-19 school year. In the past, ERS partnered with APS to map resource use, prioritize areas to redirect resources, advise on school design, and develop a Teacher Effectiveness Dashboard.

"Our partner districts show us what's really happening on the ground—the data reveal where resources are going and our relationships with district leadership teams refines our best thinking about solutions."
-Karen Hawley Miles, Executive Director, ERS

District Facts

Students: 58,000

Work Focus


  • Student-Based Budgeting: Support the rollout of student-based budgeting through three strands of work:
    • Student-Success Funding (SSF): Provide project planning and advisory support for the district to engage its SSF task force; support will be provided through resources such as our SBB model, enrollment projection tool, student weight formulas, and school planning process redesign help

    • School Design: Facilitate three training sessions for all district principals to build their capacity to make strategic budgeting decisions in this new funding system

    • Central Office: Explore best practices and facilitate a decision-making process around whether the district should implement an Innovation Status, which would enable schools to implement more innovative and effective instructional practices


  • Resource Mapping: Continue to track resource use metrics that emerged from initial SY05-06 analysis

  • Funding: Worked with district leadership to identify new/evolving opportunities for resource realignment as new data emerges with a particular focus on ARRA funding opportunities and broader revenue environment

  • Human Capital: Helped develop and implement a data dashboard—Teacher Effectiveness Dashboard (TED)—to inform human capital decision-making across the district, as part of APS’ Effective Teacher in Every Classroom (ETEC) initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


  • School Design: Helped develop, implement, and assess “Vanguard” middle school designs as part of APS Middle School Transformation initiative


  • Resource Mapping: Created a resource map for the district including selecting a series of metrics to track over time

Findings and Outcomes

  • Changes to Reform Strategy: APS district leadership has used our resource analysis and recommendations to change the way they communicate and now distinguishes their reform strategy as having two phases—the first phase being school-driven and the next phase being teacher-driven; additionally, the APS superintendent and cabinet have shifted decision making to focus more on trade-offs instead of looking at each decision independently, and have opted to secure additional technical support to continue the resource analysis work

  • Human Capital: We partnered with APS to develop a cutting edge tool called the Teaching Effectiveness Dashboard (TED), which is a management tool that consolidates and integrates a wide range of data on teacher effectiveness—from certification and experience to student performance to principal evaluation—to help district and school leaders make strategic decisions around teacher hiring, assignment, support, retention, and dismissal; it was piloted in SY09-10 with 16 secondary schools, and as of that year, there were plans to roll out the tool across all of APS starting in SY2010-11

  • Human Capital: As a result of the our analysis, the district has developed an HR strategy, changed the structure and timing of professional development days, and has more data to support their school closure/consolidation decisions

  • School Design: In SY09-10, APS piloted new middle school designs that align with our strategic design principles


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