ON-Lion Letter
Last Summer, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a public school-funding model -- endorsed by 76 prominent Americans in education and public policy from across the ideological and partisan spectrum -- that would make major strides in solving today’s most-urgent problems in school finance.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation’s president and chief executive officer, Michael Grebe, endorsed the proposal, as did many others affiliated with Foundation-supported entities.

Some the release of the plan, detailed in Fordham’s Fund the Child:  Tackling Inequity and Antiquity in School Finance report, more than 100 others people have joined them.

The model has three key aspects, each of which help level the playing field and widen the educational opportunities for students from low-income families:

     full funding would “follow the child” to the public school that he or she attends;

     this individual funding amount would be weighted to tailor resources to a child’s specific needs and circumstances; and,

     those resources would arrive at the school in the form of real dollars, not teaching positions, and can be spent flexibly with an emphasis on results, not programs or activities.
Many school districts have starting using versions of this "follow-the-child" funding model.  In his January 2007 State of the City address, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that his city's system would join them.  "[W]e're going to fund students instead of schools, basing our investment on the number of students enrolled and their particular needs," he said.
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