The Formula is Coming! The Formula is Coming!

25Feb10

March 4. Thursday.  Edith Ajello has crafted a bill that will create a new funding formula for the state’s schools.  Can’t wait to see how this comes out.

I’ve long been confused when I hear elected officials from nearly every town talk about the need for such a formula, yet this is a zero sum game.  They all make it sound as if they’d get more money for their town if there was a formula.  The amount of money is finite, so if there will be some towns who receive less money with a formula, so they might want to be careful of what they ask for.

I’d look forward to see what happens to cities like Central Falls and Woonsocket, where their education budgets are funded at 100% and 75% by the rest of the state.   Unless there are exceptions built in, they’re most certainly going to take a huge hit.  I still can’t fathom why Central Falls needs 100% of the state’s money, why they can’t supply any percentage of that on their own.  And Woonsocket can only fund 25% of their own?  And in a neighboring town, Cumberland, it’s the opposite, where they only get approximately 25% from the state.

One interesting quote from the article above is from House Finance Chairman Steven Constantino, “You can do a formula with the existing money, but then you get into the winners-and-losers argument,”

Hey Stevie, what do you do now?  I understand that you’re leaving the State House, so it’s not really a decision you’ll get to make anymore, but isn’t this exactly what you’ve been doing for years?  You get to play Solomon and decide which towns get how much funding?  All based on how much back-slapping you get?

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