As part of the district’s commitment to school autonomy, City Schools gives school leaders as much control as possible over spending decisions. Budget allocations are determined based on each school’s enrollment, with as many dollars as possible provided where they matter most — in schools, to support students.

For traditional schools, the per-pupil amount for each school is based on the district’s “Fair Student Funding” formula. These schools also receive resources through services budgeted centrally, at the district level. For charter schools, the district uses a different, “revenue-based” funding formula that provides more dollars but fewer services.

See how these formulas were used to develop 2017-18 budgets.

Fair Student Funding: Flexible Dollars for Traditional Schools

Steps for determining traditional schools’ per-pupil base amount:

  1. Start with the prior year’s total cost for Fair Student Funding.
  2. Adjust this amount based on projections (cost increases/decreases, funding increases/decreases).
  3. Subtract districtwide cost of weights for students in specific populations, which will be distributed to schools based on student demographics. This includes students at basic and advanced levels, students with disabilities in self-contained classrooms, and high school students at risk of dropping out.
  4. Divide the final number from step 3 by the total projected number of funding-eligible students in traditional schools.

Steps for determining traditional school budgets:

  1. Multiply the final number from step 4 above by the projected enrollment for the school.
  2. Add in weights (as noted in step 3 above) per the student demographics of the school.

In addition to dollars available for spending at the school level, traditional schools also receive services from the district office. These include salaries and benefits for principals, professional development, special education for students with disabilities, programming for pre-k students and English language learners, and administrative resources and services.

Charter Per-Pupil Funding Formula

Steps for determining charter schools’ per-pupil amount:

  1. Start with the district’s total projected general fund revenue.
  2. Subtract districtwide exclusions. (This includes funding for pre-k and students in non-public placements; non-revenue contributions to the General Fund from fund balance and non-state/local sources; debt service; and funding for retiree health benefits.)
  3. Subtract needs-based exclusions, which covers the costs of meeting the needs of students who are disabled, English language learners, and/or require specialized transportation.
  4. Subtract 2% of the remaining amount to contribute to district administrative costs (per state guidance).
  5. Divide the remaining amount by projected charter school enrollment, excluding pre-k, private placement (who are accounted for under districtwide exclusions), and other ineligible students.

To determine a charter school’s budget, the final number from step 5 is multiplied by the projected, funding-eligible enrollment for the school. In addition to this amount, charter schools also receive services and/or funding from the district office for special education for students with disabilities, programming for pre-k students and English language learners, and some administrative resources and support.

2 thoughts on “School Funding Formulas

  1. Julia A Smith Reply

    International educators symposium for curriculum standards and methods .
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  2. Anonymous Reply

    When you deduct nonpublic placements do you add back the state reimbursement of 30% of the excess? Statewide, that averages 40% of the cost borne by the state. So, if you deduct $60 million from the total, will you add back the $25 million reimbursement?

    That comes to about $500 per student. Muggers don’t get that big of a haul.

    Charters need to stand up and really demonstrate that they are getting the shaft instead of being defensive about getting too much. I’m tired of schools like Liberty telling us they get $7,100 a kid. That may be the average, but it’s not true of every school. The district’s secret weapon is “average salaries.” It hides the real inequities that exist among traditional schools. I’m guessing that Roland Park’s per pupil (or even Liberty’s) far exceeds the charter payout. No way the average salary of teachers at Collington Square is the same as the average salary at RPEMS. Just more propaganda spewed by the district to hide the fact that they are keeping too much money from charters.

    The state constitution calls for an education to be provided by the state. It doesn’t say anything abou North Avenue being the sole provider. Charters are public schools and that satisfies the constitutional requirement

    They take us for dummies and we keep proving them right.

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