During the MSBA Delegate Assembly on Saturday, December 6, school board members from across the state strongly supported creating a base level of funding for every student that qualifies for free and reduced lunch. The delegation supported a base of $1,700 per compensatory pupil unit and flexibility in the use of funds to focus on closing the achievement gap and improving student outcomes for struggling students.
The minimum allocation of $1,700 is based on a pilot program funded in the Anoka-Hennepin School District over the last seven years. The pilot has demonstrated student academic performance that exceeds the state averages and an achievement gap ranked as one of the lowest in the state.
School districts want the resources to be wisely targeted specifically at students not meeting the MCA proficiency targets.
It has been demonstrated that the current compensatory calculation leaves some students behind, so creating a base funding for compensatory students, as well as continuing to provide additional resources to those schools with high level (concentrations) of poverty, is fair.
The MSBA Government Relations team will continue to support more equity for low-income students while maintaining the current funding for high-concentration districts like Minneapolis and St. Paul. We will advocate for more flexibility in allowing local school districts to direct money to the close achievement gaps.