Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SEEK Base basics (using 2009-10 forecasts)

Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, our main school funding program, reduces financial gaps between districts with the most and least property per pupil. Here's an overview* of how the SEEK formula will provide basic funding in 2009-10, using state forecast numbers:
  1. $484,507 is the average taxable property per pupil statewide.
  2. $5,332 is the average base funding per student required by the SEEK formula, including a standard $3,909 per student, plus added amounts for students with disabilities, students in the free lunch program, students with limited English, and transportation.
  3. $1,454 of the $5,332 is the average share that comes from districts. By law, each district contributes 0.3% of the value of their taxable property, usually stated as 30¢ per $100.
  4. $3,878 of the $5,332 is the average part from state funding. That's the amount left when you subtract the local share.
Only, no district has exactly the state average taxable property, so no district's local share is exactly average either. Here's a forecast of how the base formula will work for the twelve districts with the lowest taxable property, with the state providing more and the districts less than the average used above:

And here's a forecast for the twelve with the strongest taxable property, with the local share larger and the state share smaller than average:

* To keep this overview short, I've left out some details, like the way the formula uses average daily attendance to count students, and the way that the attendance numbers can't keep up with rising numbers in the fastest growing districts, and the way districts can use something other than property taxes to raise their local 0.3% share. Also, SEEK has two additional optional elements on top of these base funding numbers, and the state and federal government provide added funding beyond the SEEK totals.

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