Portable and equal

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina wants school funding to follow students, regardless of where they live, to equalize spending. Education Gadfly explains the benefits of weighted student funding:

Sanford wants to delegate responsibility for education funding to the state (instead of to school districts) and then distribute the dollars based on the educational needs of individual students, not the tax base of the district in which they reside. As students change schools, their funding follows them. This is called “weighted student funding (WSF),” various forms of which exist in a few cities—including Cincinnati and San Francisco. . . . WSF holds advantages for both liberals and conservatives. It’s a fair way to solve funding inequities between districts, and by allowing money to follow individual students, it also opens the door to more school choice.

Fordham is working on a report on weighted student funding.

About Joanne


  1. It’s a good idea, overall, and long overdue. The only problem with it is that there is a tendency for control to follow the source of the funds, but I think it’s far too late to worry about that. When schools were 100% funded by local property taxes, the school board answered only to local voters. Now, the federal government seems to have gained inordinate leverage from supplying a mere 11% of school budgets, and the states already supply quite a lot of the budgets and have even more say in how the schools are run.