Bill Description: House Bill 691 would change the state’s current funding formula from measuring average daily attendance (ADA) when counting kids to full time equivalent enrollment (FTE-E).
Does the bill finance education based on the student rather than the institution? (+) Conversely, does the bill finance education based on an institution or system? (-)
Idaho is one of seven states that uses an average daily attendance (ADA) model to count kids for funding purposes. The method a state uses to measure public school enrollment is important because it affects how education dollars are allocated to students and schools. An accurate count is key to fair funding, and the goal of student count policies should be to ensure that all students are fairly funded, both at any given point in the school year and from year to year. Under Idaho’s current resource-based funding formula, however, the ADA model contributes to funding disparities among school districts who enroll a similar number of students. For example, Boise receives $5,000 more than Kuna for each support unit. This difference is likely due to differences in staff experience and their education levels rather than student needs. Additionally, Boise is generally able to offer higher teacher salaries than Kuna. House Bill 691 implements a full-time equivalent enrollment funding model, which ensures that students are funded equally across districts. Therefore, House Bill 691 is a step toward creating a student-centered funding model.
The bill initially increases spending by an estimated $23.8 million annually. As seen in other states that have reformed their funding formulas, increased costs are expected in the short run. But no calculation in Idaho has determined whether this will lead to increased spending in the long run.
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