Is Weighted School Funding an Experiment: Are Our Children the Guinea Pigs?

Through me the way into the suffering city,

Through me the way to eternal pain,

Through me the way that runs among the lost …

Abandon every hope, who enter here.

Weighted Student Funding (WSF) is voodoo economics raised from the murky depths of conservative think tanks.  It is based on the false premise that “low income, low achievement” schools receive lower levels of funding that “higher income, higher achieving” schools. It is based on the premise that principals will seek out low income, low achievement, English Language Learners and Special Education children because they bring more dollars to a school. It is based on the premise that parents will voluntarily bus their children to low income, low achieving schools that offer more services.

The Klein Plan avers that there are ninety or so different formulas that drive funds to schools – these formula are based more on history and politics than current day need. Parents, teachers and principals lobbied their local elected officials to gain more funding for their school: part of the democratic process. In addition the Central Board drove funds to low achieving schools: a worthy policy. If Klein’s Plan stopped at a review of the many, many formula that would be fine.

School budgets are based on average teacher salary for the school and the Central authority tweaks the funding to account for variations in teacher salary – based on years of service. The Klein Plan is based on “actual” teacher salary. Schools with experienced teachers would see funds “transferred” to schools with inexperienced teachers. To “ease the burden” Klein would use the CFE funds, not to lower class size, but to “phase in” budget reductions.

The Tweed gang passed around a sheath of scatter plot graphs to show that schools a few blocks apart receive different levels of funding; however, they doesn’t identify individual schools.

Lets take a closer look: Midwood has an average teacher salary of $71,677 – it is one of the highest achieving schools in the city with a wide range of Advanced Placement courses and a staff made up of experienced teachers. Under WSF Midwood would lose millions of dollars – do not fear – these programs would somehow magically move to a low achieving school. As the new, small high schools add grades their average salary increases, except in the schools with high teacher turnover. If a principal is successful in retaining staff – tough – she would receive less funding.

The “solution” to under achieving schools in not more funding, not more experienced teacher, not sound educational practice but kooky ideas – that are vigorous defended, not surprisingly by the neocons from a circle of purgatory.

Is Klein using our children, like the doctors in the Tuskegee Experiment? Is he “punishing” the Teacher’s Union for their latest contract success?

If so, does he belong, along with the other Sodomites, blasphemers and falsifiers in the depths of the Inferno?


One response to “Is Weighted School Funding an Experiment: Are Our Children the Guinea Pigs?

  1. I’m reminded of Woody Allen’s use of the levels of hell. I wonder on what level Klein and his “cohorts” belong? Or does he belong on the new level 10 with Bush and Cheney?

    For “Annie Hall” the script had contained a segment wherein a street elevator takes Alvy (Woody), Annie (Diane Keaton) and Rob (Tony Roberts) down through Hell, escorted by the Devil.
    Here is what Woody Allen and co-scripter Marshall Brickman envisioned as the nine layers at the time of that writing:
    “Layer 1: People who make money off religion, bad surgeons, and people who say ‘right on'”
    “Layer 2: The military, oil companies, and gossip columnists”
    “Layer 3: The National Rifle Association”
    “Layer 4: People who act cute, homicidal maniacs, and advertising men”
    “Layer 5: Organized crime, fascist dictators, and people who don’t appreciate oral sex”
    “Layer 6: Guys who walk in the streets playing loud portable radios, bad interior decorators, and disc jockeys”
    “Layer 7: FBI informers, CIA assassins, and fast food chains”
    “Layer 8: Prison guards, people who try to be funny with waiters, and the guy who invented double knits”
    “Layer 9: Politicians, torturers, and contemporary architects


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