As discussed last week, there is one final—and very important—component of the BEF formula: the multipliers. The first of these multipliers is the Median Household Income Index (MHII), and it is a measure of a school district’s relative wealth.
School district wealth has always been a factor in funding formulas, and the Basic Education Funding Commission included the MHII to recognize the disparity in educational resources that exist across districts as a result of local wealth.
The MHII measures how poor or wealthy a school district is based on the median household income of the residents of the school district. The median household income is derived from federal U.S. Census Bureau data—data that is collected and published annually.
The median household income in each school district is compared to the statewide median household income—which is $54,573 for purposes of the 2018-19 BEF formula. Each school district’s median household income is above or below the statewide median.
If a school district’s median household income is higher than the statewide median (i.e. they are wealthier than the state median), their MHII multiplier will be less than 1. For example, Southern York County SD’s median household income is $77,824 —more than the state median of $54,573. Therefore, their MHII is 0.7318 .
If a school district’s median household income is below the statewide median (i.e. they are poorer than the state median), their MHII multiplier will be greater than 1. For example, Duquesne City SD’s median household income is $24,390 —significantly lower than the state median of $54,573. Therefore, their MHII is 2.3350.
Click on the map below to view the median household income in each school district along with the MHII (the local wealth multiplier) for each school district.