Chapter 9.7


How is Acute Poverty Calculated?

In addition to the weight for moderate poverty discussed yesterday, the BEF formula includes a weight for students living in acute poverty—again, in recognition that students living in poverty have educational hurdles to overcome and that it requires additional educational resources to ensure that school districts can do so.

Students living in acute poverty are students who are living below the federal poverty line. For a family of four, this means that they were making less than $24,600 annually. Across Pennsylvania, there were ADMs or of students living in acute poverty in (calculated in the formula).

Click on the image link below to view our Infogram illustrating over time the total statewide ADMs in acute poverty.


Like the moderate poverty weight, the acute poverty weight is based on the percentage of students living below the federal poverty line in each school district, which is multiplied by the total ADMs for each school district. This result equals the number of students living in acute poverty in each school district.

The number of students living in acute poverty in a school district is then multiplied by a weight of 0.6—recognizing that the additional needs of these students—and the additional educational support and resources they require—are double those of students living in moderate poverty—and nearly 2/3 more than a student not living in poverty. The product is the school district’s “add on” ADMs for acute poverty—note that while the number of students in acute poverty is generally less than the number of students living in moderate poverty, due to the extent of the weight, the add on amount may be similar.

For example, Lebanon SD in Lebanon County had an acute poverty metric of in the BEF formula. To calculate the school district’s acute poverty weighted ADMs, the formula multiplies the by the district’s 3-year average ADMs of 5,003.21 and by the acute poverty weight of 0.6, resulting in acute poverty weighted ADMs.

Click on the map below to see the percentage of students in acute poverty, the number of ADMs in acute poverty and the additional ADMs calculated as a result of the acute poverty component for each school district in the BEF formula. Click on the map below to see for each school district the change from the 2015-16 to 2018-19 BEF formulas in the acute poverty metric and weighted ADMs.
  • Each of our maps illustrate data relevant to the topic of the day for each school district. You can find the map legend at the top left of your screen after opening the map. 
  • Hover over any school district with your mouse to open a pop-up label providing information associated with that school district.
  • You can filter school districts by locale type (urban, suburban, town, or rural), by intermediate unit, and occasionally by other factors as well.