Location: LSB A
Colorado's Current Finance and Funding System: At-risk, Categorical, Studen
LEGISLATIVE INTERIM COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL FINANCE
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11:25 AM -- Colorado's Current Finance and Funding System: At-risk, Categorical, Studen
Conversation shifted to other factors of the funding system. Consultants started with a discussion of At-Risk students and the use of proxy measures to determine the number of at-risk students, versus using a direct measure of student learning of at risk students, which the consultants explained can create perverse incentives. If specific student characteristics such as student academic achievement is the measure, a district might not have good incentive to move that student academically if that results in less funding. Members wondered if we can get more precise and move beyond the proxy approach as an effort to more specifically target limited funds. Representative Garnett asked what other states use as proxy. Consultants answer includes homelessness and migrant populations. Representative Lundeen commented that ultimate goal should be to identify characteristics of students, not of districts, in identifying which students are really at risk. Dr. Seder reminded committee that the reason we currently use a proxy is due to the possibility of a perverse incentive, but promised to continue to think about alternatives to bring to the committee as possible ways to modify that particular factor in the finance system. Committee had a robust conversation concerning these issues.
Consultants discussed research around better proxies including some currently being considered in Michigan that look at "persistent poverty" such as continued eligibility for free or reduced lunch over consecutive years, indicating that the longer these students remain eligible is a better proxy for at risk versus identifying this eligibility only for a given academic year. That might be over identifying at risk.