Beginning in early 2006, Picus Odden and Associates was employed to conduct a major school finance study for the state of Washington. Working for the K-12 Advisory Committee of Washington Learns – a state wide educational improvement project established by the Legislature and chaired by the Governor – we conducted both successful district and Evidence-Based adequacy studies. Working closely with the K-12 Advisory Committee, we built a funding model that allocates resources to individual schools and districts based on our research focused Evidence-Based model.
As part of this effort, we learned that the most powerful findings from the different studies emerged by integrating the Evidence-Based results, focusing on the instructional improvement strategies and the resource use patterns of schools that have dramatically improved student learning. As a result, our integrated approach to school finance adequacy is focused on setting very high goals for student learning and then identifying school strategies that can dramatically improve student performance over the next ten years.
During the summer of 2006 we completed an analysis of the equity of Kentucky’s school facility funding system. The work represents the first time a detailed analysis of facility funding equity has been completed in any of the 50 states.