Dept. of Ed: Study reveals only 25 percent of NH school funding follows the child

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Jeb Bush is President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which released a report on education funding.

CONCORD, NH – A recent report released by a national education foundation focused on the hallmarks of student-centered funding reveal the importance of transitioning New Hampshire to a model that accounts for the characteristics of students and the tangible steps officials can take to make this transition.

Founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Foundation for Excellence in Education study, “Student-Centered Funding in New Hampshire,” worked with in-state funding experts and found that out of $16,940 in average funding per student across the Granite State, only 25 percent is student-centered. This means that when a student moves to a different district, only 25 percent of funding follows them to the new district.

You can read the report below.

Similarly, when a student transfers from a traditional public school to a public charter school, only 42 percent of the funding follows the student.

When the majority of school funding is not student-centered, the state fails to reap the benefits, including transparency, empowerment of parents and district and school leaders, and fairness. High-performing districts and public charter schools also have little incentive to grow.

“As New Hampshire continues to debate how best to provide funding to schools across the state, the needs of students must be at the forefront of the discussion,” said Gov. Chris Sununu. “This study is a valuable contribution to the current discussion, since a student-centered funding formula – where spending follows the child – promotes fairness, transparency, flexibility and innovation across our state.”

Source: Foundation for Excellence in Education.

The study makes recommendations for how New Hampshire can increase the proportion of funding that is student-centered.

“The Foundation for Excellence in Education has provided an important contribution to the conversation about how primary and secondary education is funded in New Hampshire,” noted Frank Edelblut, the commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Education. “Our fierce defense of local control of education needs to recognize that the most local control decisions are the choices parents make for their children. When we support families in the decisions they make, student outcomes are stronger.”

The study also recommends that New Hampshire tie a small – but meaningful – portion of funding to student performance – which will incentivize an increase in the state’s nationally recognized competency-based education.

“Governor Sununu is bringing bold, innovative reforms to New Hampshire’s education system, and I encourage all policymakers in the state to be as forward-thinking as Governor Sununu is when it comes to serving all students in New Hampshire,” said former Gov. Jeb Bush, the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). “As New Hampshire considers how to update the school funding system, it is imperative that the focus remains on how the funding meets the needs of students, rather than simply the amount of money the state provides per student.”

For questions about the study, contact Jess Boyd, the state communications manager for Excel in Ed, at jessb@excelined.org or 850-213-2356.