One of the benefits of the new BEF formula is that it counts students and considers student factors that increase the need for educational resources—directing BEF resources to the school districts with greater need. The mechanics of the new formula does this through the student-weighted portion of the distribution methodology. The graphic below illustrates the components of the student-weighted portion of the distribution methodology and the student-weighted ADMs as additional elements to the core measure of 3-year average ADM.
The new BEF formula starts at the core with the number of students, or ADMs, in each school district using an average across three years. For each school district, the formula adds to that component additional ADMs based on the number of students a school district has in each of the several student-weight categories, such as students living in acute poverty, students living in moderate poverty, students living in concentrated poverty, students who are English language learners and students who attend charter schools.
This student-weighted methodology and the individual components were developed by the bi-partisan Basic Education Funding Commission
. The Commission received public testimony and recognized in its report that these categories of students required additional educational resources from the state to succeed. The Commission developed the methodology for calculating the additional ADMs for each component of the formula. We will dive deeper into this methodology as we cover each of the individual components over the next several days. In sum, this methodology uses a statewide weight value for each component that is then applied to each school district's measure.
After calculating all of the student-weighted components for each district, the formula adds all of them together with the district's 3-year average ADMs, resulting in "weighted-student count" (the total student count with additional weights). For example, if a school district's 3-year average ADMs equal 1,081 and the formula adds additional ADMs for the above weights, the formula would work like this: