What is Equity?

Today, I want to look at the concept of equity in school funding. The best way to see the concept of equity is to look at an example. Currently, EISD is receiving about $4,777 per WADA (weighted average daily attendance). For the sake of calculations, let’s assume that our current WADA is about 1850. We will compare our funding to another district with the same WADA, but at a different revenue per WADA.

                                              EISD                  Example ISD                               Funding Gap

Revenue per WADA $4,777 $5,777 $1,000 per WADA
WADA 1850 1850
$8,837,450 $10,687,450 $1,850,000

 

Since our current funding system went into place in 2006, and since we will probably have the current funding system through this current biennium, over a 7 year period, the funding gap between EISD and the example shown would be almost $13,000,000. Unfortunately, this is not an extreme example. This would be a fairly average example for EISD. There are other districts funded at a much greater disparity than $1,000 per WADA. Imagine the funding gap for a district funded at $2,500 more than EISD. Such funding gaps do exist. This example shows the lack of equity in our current finance system.

This is a reality that exists. Not only does this affect our schools, but it affects our local communities and our local businesses. Districts with more funding can afford to hire additional personal and to provide those staff members with better salaries. Better salaries means that school personnel will have more discretionary income to spend at restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, clothing stores, etc.

Since this is not just a school district issue, the Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition is asking for support from community members as part of the coalition. It does not cost anything to become a supporter of the coalition and everyone is welcome to sign up as a supporter. To sign up in support of the Coalition, you can visit the Equity Center’s homepage at www.equitycenter.org. At the bottom of the page, there is box that says “Join the Fight”. You can click on this box and sign up to show your support for our schools. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

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