Understanding Student-Weighted Allocation as a Means to Greater School Resource Equity

October 2006

This article is published in Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 81 (3), pp. 39-62 (October 2006)

As attention shifts to how districts allocate resources to schools, student weighted allocation has emerged as an alternative to traditional staff-based allocation policies. Student-weighted allocation uses student need, rather than staff placement, as the building block of school budgeting.

This article examines how the shift to student-weighted allocation affected the pattern of resource distribution within 2 districts: the Houston Independent School District and Cincinnati Public Schools. This study provides evidence that student-weighted allocation can be a means toward greater resource equity among schools within districts. Resource equity is defined here in per-pupil needs-weighted fiscal terms.

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