Reflections on Equity, Adequacy, and Weighted Student Funding
Within the context of the school finance literature, the concepts of equity and adequacy raise a number of complex definitional and pragmatic issues. The purpose of this article is to clarify those issues and to use those concepts to evaluate the recent policy proposal called weighted student funding (WSF). Though WSF contains some equity-enhancing elements, it could fall short of its equity goals because of imperfect weights. This approach also fails to take full account of the concentrations of challenging-to-educate students and their effects on the distribution of teachers. In addition, the WSF proposal can be faulted for paying no attention to adequacy, potentially stigmatizing individual students, and placing so much focus on individual schools. A more complete evaluation of WSF would require a broader institutional perspective that extends beyond the equity and adequacy considerations of this article.
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