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MAY 2015  


Funding models like student-based budgeting (SBB), also called weighted student funding or fair student funding, seek to distribute dollars more equitably, transparently, and flexibly. But how can we ensure these models stay true to their promise and actually result in schools that are better designed to meet student needs?


In the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, it has meant viewing SBB as an academic improvement strategy, not just a financial reform. In ERS' newest report, Following the Dollars to the Classroom Door, we share lessons from our partnership with Cleveland and the seven steps districts can take to bring this concept to life and drive meaningful changes in school design. 


In 2013, Cleveland Metropolitan School District moved to student-based budgeting, and also supported school leaders to use their resources - people, time, and money - in new ways. These lessons are powerful for any school district adopting SBB and seeking to drive student achievement.

Tools for Strategic School Design

If your school system is already implementing or starting a new funding model like student-based budgeting, these tools can help guide the strategic school planning side of the equation:

Data Decisions #1: Prioritizing 9th Grade Math

Our new School System 20/20 series, Data Decisions, highlights common opportunities ERS sees in districts to adjust current resource choices to yield big results. This first brief explores how districts can find more resources for 9th grade math, typically a make-or-break hurdle for student success. 

State Takeover Gives Mass. District a Fresh Start
Education Week closely examines the dramatic progress in Lawrence Public Schools and highlights ERS' School System 20/20 case study of the district.

ELT Advocates Want More Funding Flexibility
Education Daily interviews ERS' Karen Hawley Miles about our recent report on whether Expanded Learning Time (ELT) can be funded sustainably.
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Upcoming Webinar
This summer, ERS will host a webinar for district leaders who are implementing student-based budgeting or similar funding models, to learn about how CMSD is using SBB to drive its school redesign strategy.
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If your school system is planning to shift to student-based budgeting or a similar model, this guide offers key issues to consider, and stories from districts that have adopted it.

School System 20/20 Vision  See the possibilities ?
School Budget Hold'em  Explore budget trade-offs ?
About ERS      Contact Us

Education Resource Strategies (ERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming how urban school systems organize resources - people, time, and
money - so that every school succeeds for every student .

Education Resource Strategies
480 Pleasant St., Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472  T: 617.607.8000