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Weighted Student Funding

Why Do Districts Decide to Implement Weighted Student Funding?

Weighted Student Funding has become a popular initiative for district leaders who seek to allocate scarce resources to schools, especially in the face of stubborn achievement gaps, changing and complex demographics, and shrinking federal and state support.

It has the potential to significantly increase funding equity, transparency, and flexibility, thus  empowering principals to design schools to best meet their students’ unique needs. Weight student funding describes any district funding model that:

  • Allocates dollars instead of staff or materials
  • Is based on the number of students
  • Uses objective and measurable student characteristics as weights—for example, poverty status, English language learners (ELL), students with disabilities (SWD), grade enrolled, low academic performance, or high academic performance/gifted status, among others.



Note: Weighted student funding is also known as student-based budgeting (SBB), fair student funding, or student-centered funding. Dive deeper into how the model works, which districts implements weighted student funding, and nuts-and-bolts guidance for how to design the model in your school system:



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