New Illinois EB-Based School Funding Model

On August 31, 2017, Illinois adopted a new school funding formula based on our firm’s Evidence-Based (EB) adequacy model.  In Spring 2016, the state’s governor appointed a school finance task force comprised primarily of legislators.  Michelle Mangan, an associate professor at Concordia University and an Allan Odden advised Ph.D. graduate of the University of Wisconsin who had worked with us in several states, provided technical advice to the Task Force on the EB model.  The new funding formula includes all the core EB model elements, including the additional tutors, extended day, summer school and counseling resources for at risk students.  Though it will take several years for full implementation, Illinois becomes the 6th state with the EB model as the basis of its school funding structure.

Maryland Adequacy Study

Picus Odden & Associates, under subcontract with Augenblick Palaich and Associates, has just completed an Evidence-Based adequacy study for Maryland.  The study includes 12 case studies of improving and high performance schools.

The case studies can be found in the Resources tab of this website.  Chadwick Elementary is a fascinating case of a high poverty, high ELL school performing at very high levels.

5 Case Studies Showing Improved Performance

Picus Odden and Associates is pleased to provide five additional cases of schools that have significantly improved student performance.  The five school cases are part of the firm’s analysis of the adequacy of Vermont’s school funding system Using the Evidence-Based Method to Identify Adequate Spending Levels for Vermont Schools, which will be posted soon.  The five cases are:

Academy Elementary School
Integrated Academy School
Oak Grove Elementary School
Colchester High School
Fair Haven Union High School


2015 Wyoming Recalibration Report

In mid-November, Larry Picus and Allan Odden presented to the Wyoming Interim Committee on School Finance Recalibration the firm’s final report titled, 2015 Wyoming Recalibration Report, which reviewed all elements of the state’s Evidence-Based school funding model.


EB Document for Vermont’s Judgment Panel

Draft EB Analysis for review by Vermont’s professional judgment panels. To be reviewed on November 10-11th by Vermont’s professional judgment panels. Final report due in January, 2016.

Pictures of the Select Committee in Cody, Wyoming


Pictures taken at the June 29 30, 2015 meetings of the Select Committee in
Cody, Wyoming.

Hank AllanHank Coe Larry

Allan Odden and Larry Picus featured with Senator Hank Coe, Co-Chair, Wyoming Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration (above) and with Representative David Northrup, Co-Chair, Wyoming Select Committee on
School Finance Recalibration (below).

Northrup AllanNorthrup Larry

Picus & Odden back in Wyoming

Allan Odden and Lawrence Picus have been retained by the Wyoming Legislative Service Office to work with the Legislature’s Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration to update the cost basis of all the elements of the state’s school finance formula. The current funding formula was based on an adequacy study the pair conducted for the state in 2005 and updated five years later during the state’s 2010 recalibration effort.

The work for the 2015 recalibration project draws from an Odden and Picus authored “Desk Audit” of the state’s school finance system that recommended recalibration of many components of the funding model. Odden and Picus met with the Committee on May 21 and 22 in Casper, Wyoming to launch this year’s recalibration effort.

Superintendent Receives Award for Budgeting in Evidence-Based Ways

Randy Poe, Superintendent of Boone County, Kentucky recently was recognized as the 2015 F.L. Dupree Outstanding Superintendent of the Year Award by the Kentucky School Board Association. Poe stated that Boone County has been very successful because it has been forced to look to evidence based finance to finance it operations and align everything to the instructional core.

The book on “Improving Student Learning When Budgets are Tight” is a valuable resource for all districts whether budgets are tight or not. It has been the major resource for our budget committee to establish priorities over time utilizing it as a guide.

Our district is funded $20 million less than the average school district in Kentucky based on per pupil spending for our size but our focus on the right priorities such as instructional coaches allows us to continue to improve academic gains.

Based on School we are in the lowest 10% for funding in the Nation but score in the top 60% in the Nation on academic performance. We truly believe we are that successful because of the Evidence-Based approach to school finance.

Picus Odden Kentucky Adequacy Study Released

On December 7-8, 2014 the Picus Odden and Associates’ adequacy study prepared for the Kentucky Council for Better Education, a consortium of 168 Kentucky public school districts, was released at the winter conference of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. Though the study calls for increased funding, Tom Shelton, Chair of CBE and a Kentucky superintendent, said the importance of the study was that, “It is a model of what it takes to have a successful school. This is about improving the investment Kentucky makes in its public schools.” Shelton, and Mike Goetz, senior associate with Picus Odden and Associates who conducted the study, also briefed legislators, the governor and other Kentucky policy makers on December 9.

The study was mentioned in two press articles:


Picus Odden and Associates in the News

An article in the Park City Kentucky Daily News on Kentucky school funding refers to the Picus Odden and Associates forthcoming Kentucky adequacy study, to be released in December, as well as previous work the firm has conducted on school finance in Kentucky.