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.
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.
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.
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:
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. http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/state-th-worst-in-public-education-cuts-study-says/article_125b583e-df17-5045-aedf-7ba7dbdc4eba.html
At its final meeting on October 15, 2014, the North Dakota Interim Education Funding Committee approved a bill to provide the largest increase in K-12 education funding in the state’s history, drawing on recommendations from the Picus Odden and Associates 2014 Recalibration Report conducted for the Committee. The bill would hike the state’s foundation per pupil amount by $390 to $9,482 for 2015-16 and another $390 to $9,766 in 2016-17. The bill would increase funding for at risk students in grades K-8, and all ELL students, as well as provide up to $225 million for school construction to provide space for the state’s growing student population. The bill needs approval by the 2015 Legislature, but with rapidly growing revenues from the oil and gas boom in the state, the money is in state coffers.
Picus Odden and Associates partners Larry Picus and Allan Odden, together with Scott Price, the new chief financial officer of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, presented a ‘”2014 Arkansas Desk Audit” of the Arkansas school funding system to a summer meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees.
Picus and Odden helped Arkansas develop the current funding system in a 2003 project with an Interim Committee responding to court mandate to create an “adequate” funding structure. With that study as the foundation, the legislature enacted a new funding system in 2004. The legislature then had Picus and Odden recalibrate the funding structure in 2006.
During the last week of March, Picus Odden and Associates’ lead partners, Lawrence O. Picus and Allan Odden, met with a dozen school business officials and superintendents in each of two meetings in Bismarck and West Fargo, North Dakota.
The purpose of the meetings was to garner local feedback on several technical issues related to the firm’s recalibration work: pupil weights for at-risk students, ELL students, students with disabilities, summer school and home school supervision. The groups also discussed an appropriate fringe benefit rate for staff benefits and the district portion of employee health care costs, school staffing focusing on instructional coaches, and small district adjustments.
The input will be included in a final report that will be discussed by the Legislative Interim Committee on Education Funding in Grand Forks, North Dakota on June 2, 2014.
Picus Odden and Associates began a school finance adequacy study in Kentucky early in 2014, working with the Kentucky School Finance Adequacy Advisory Committee. The Committee has already met twice and plans to meet again on May 12. The project is being led by Picus Odden & Associates Senior Associate, Michael Goetz.
To supplement the diverse representation of stakeholders on the Committee, Mike Goetz and Adriane Williams took a three day tour of the state to seek input from teachers and business leaders. They spent April 16 in Hazard (East), April 17 in Madisonville (West), and April 18 in Louisville, home to the largest student population in the state. The diversity of opinions offered by these roughly 30 teachers and 6 business leaders will be integral in developing the final recommendations for the State.
Picus Odden and Associates is in the process of developing a study of the adequacy of Kentucky’s school funding system, working under contract with the Council for Better Education. Senior Associate Michael Goetz will direct the project, which will use the firm’s Evidence-Based model to assess adequacy and build on the firm’s analyses of Kentucky’s education system conducted in the early 1990s. Results should be available in the second half of 2014.
See article: http://wkms.org/term/picus-odden-and-associates