District Resource Allocation
Typically, local, state and federal money flows to districts, which then use a formula to divvy up resources across their schools. A growing number of districts use a student-based allocation formula (or SBA) to distribute at least some portion of their total funds. In SBA, districts allocate dollars based on the needs of designated student types in a school—such as students who are English language learners—toward better matching a school’s resources to a school’s needs based on the mix of students in the building. But our research on SBA implementation shows that even districts moving toward SBA often have ingrained practices, such as subsidies for small schools or special programs, that can make allocations less equitable and transparent.