Arkansas Costing-Out 2006
State Funding Context
From NCES (most current available statistics):
Pre-K to 12 Students, 2004-05: 463,115
Annual Public School Expenditures, 2003-04: $3.11 billion
% Eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, 2004-05: 51.9
% in limited-English-proficiency programs, 2004-05: 4.0
Note: This study is an update of the 2003 Arkansas Adequacy Study
|Study Title:||“Recalibrating the Arkansas School Funding Structure”|
|Date Completed:||August 2006|
|Definition of Adequacy:||The study states as its goal the development of a funding system that will meet Arkansas’ constitutional requirement of “a general, suitable and efficient system of free schools.”The authors of the study also indicate that the study is meant to help “dramatically improve student performance results – which we summarize by saying doubling performance.”|
|Calculated Per Pupil Costs:||Base per pupil cost:
$5,864 (up from approx. $5,400 in the 2003 report)Additional weightings:
Additional required costs not included in the “base” cost:
|Calculated Additional Costs:||As the study was intended to help recalibrate the Arkansas school funding formula and not to determine the full cost of adequacy, the study does not provide a total expected cost.For the basic per pupil amount alone, the study estimates an additional cost of $220 million (approximately 7% of 2003-04 expenditures).|
|Major Recommendations:|| The study starts with broad recommendations for what the study is costing out, including:
The study recommends updating the Arkansas school funding formula to account for the evidence-based proposals recommended, including:
The study recommends changing the special education funding formula by basing it on a Full-Time Equivalency count of special education students rather than the current headcount method.
Transportation costs should be provided to districts as a separate grant, providing each district with the amount actually spent per pupil on transportation. The state should create a research-based transportation funding formula.
A full list of the recommended resource levels is found in section 5 of the study (pp. 73-80)
The study updates the 2003 adequacy study in Arkansas by using a similar “effective strategies” evidence-based approach that utilizes what the study’s authors describe as educational strategies that research literature shows has been effective in improving student achievement.
|Implementation:||In March 2007, the Arkansas legislature passed HB 1632 and HB 1633. These bills together will increase per pupil funding to $5,876 over two years. This would cause an increase in school spending of $121.7 million over two years. Gov. Mike Beebe signed the bills on March 14.The new per pupil target in these bills is just over the $5,864 “base” cost recommended in this study. Based on the study, the state would have to increase funding in order to fully meet the needs of all of the state’s students.|
|Prepared for:||Adequacy Study Oversight Sub-Committee of the House and Senate Interim Committees on Education, of the Arkansas General Assembly|
|Prepared by:||Lawrence O. Picus & Associates|
Fact Sheet prepared by Matthew Samberg, April, 2006.