Now that we’ve walked through all the individual components of the special education funding formula, it’s time to put them all together. The weighted student count that is derived from the number of students in each special education cost category and the corresponding weights is multiplied by each school district’s market value/personal income aid ratio and equalized mills multiplier. The product of those three factors is the Adjusted Weighted Student Count.
Like the BEF formula, the special education funding formula only distributes the “new” dollars—or the dollars added to the special education line item AFTER 2013-14 (all special education funding distributed to districts in 2013-14 is locked in place as the special education base allocation).
Also like the BEF formula, the Adjusted Weighted Student Count in the special education funding formula is the most important number for each school district. This number represents the school district’s total share of the new special education funding. For 2018-19, a school district’s Adjusted Weighted Student Count represents its share of slightly more than $100 million in special education funding; for 2019-20, the proposed budget would increase the available funding to nearly $150 million.
A school district’s share of the $100 million for 2018-19 is determined by dividing its Adjusted Weighted Student Count by the total of all Adjusted Weighted Student Counts for all school districts. The school district will receive that percentage or share of the $100 million in special education funding.
For example, Forest Hills SD’s Adjusted Weighted Student Count is 189.1, while the total Adjusted Weighted Student Count for all school districts is 288,576.1. Forest Hill’s share of the total SEF is 0.07%. As a result, they receive 0.07% of the $102,800,000 in special education funding formula for 2018-19—or $67,408. This is in addition to the district’s special education funding base allocation.
Because the special education funding formula is dynamic and dependent on annually changing data, a school district’s share of special education funding will change from year to year. In fact, it is possible for a school district to receive less special education funding in one year than in the previous year. This could happen if the school district’s demographics shifted to reduce the Weighted Student Count, the market value/personal income aid ratio or the equalized mills multiplier. It could also happen if other school districts experienced significant increases in these factors, such that their share increased.
Click here to view a map of each school district’s share of the more than $100 million in special education funding for 2018-19.