Weights

Students with certain learning needs are more likely to need additional resources in order to have equal access to educational opportunities. In order to assist districts and schools serving students with higher learning needs, school funding formulas often include weights for specific student needs.

Weights are used in school funding formulas to drive greater funds to students (ex. low-income students, English Learners, students with disabilities) who have been found to require additional resources and educational supports to achieve at the same levels as their non-need peers.

The new ECS formula contains three “need-student” weights, which increase per-student state education aid for students with additional learning needs. Below is a description of each of the weights in the new ECS formula.

  • Low-income student weight
    • Increases foundation amount by a certain percentage for students who live in low-income households as identified by a designated eligibility metric.
    • Formula includes a low-income student weight of 0.3
    • Increases foundation amount by 30 percent for students who live in low-income households as measured by eligibility for free and reduced price lunch (FRPL).
  • Concentrated poverty weight
    • Increases foundation amount by a certain percentage for students who reside in a district where the percentage of the district’s enrollment of low-income students is above a designated threshold.
    • Formula includes a concentrated poverty weight of 0.05.
    • Increases foundation amount an additional five percent (for a total of 35 percent) for low-income students residing in districts with concentrations of low-income students of over 75 percent of district enrollment.
  • English Learner weight
    • Increases foundation amount by a certain percentage for students who are identified as needing additional English-language skills.
    • Formula includes weight of 0.15 for English Learners.
    • Increases foundation amount by 15 percent for students needing additional English-language skills.

Below is a table detailing what the per-student funding would be, under the formula, for students based on their specific learning needs. Please note this does not represent how much ECS funding or state aid each student would receive, but rather the funding per student represents how much funding — according to the formula — a student should receive from state AND local sources depending on their learning needs.