What Might A Just Funding Model For K-12 education look like?
Citizens must support funding models for education that provide opportunity for every family and recognize the diverse needs of every child. As we create new policies, we must keep in mind that the provision of opportunity and recognition of diversity should govern how educational funding needs are determined, allocated, and distributed.
As part of ensuring public justice, government requires the education of children, and affirms numerous models of education (e.g. state schools, charter schools, independent schools, home schooling, etc.) in order to achieve this.
To provide equal opportunity for families, government must provide funding for families to access the full variety of educational models government affirms as valid.
If government allocates public funds to provide for education, government must provide public funding for families to access every model of education, regardless of family income or zip code. Fair funding formulas must uphold the ability of families coming from any socioeconomic background to have the opportunity to access the model of education of their choice. Funding formulas that give families the financial ability to access only one or two models of education and systematically and deliberately discriminates against the other models are unjust.
Fair funding formulas must also allocate and distribute public funds in a way that recognizes and affirms the diversity among children being educated. Every child learns differently, has different family backgrounds, understands content at different speeds, and requires unique types of supports and resources for their learning. Fair funding formulas recognize this diversity and distribute public funds in a way that looks at the unique learning needs of every child first. Fair funding formulas will encourage budgets built by considering what resources it will take to provide for the diversity of learning needs of the children within a community.
To read more about how flourishing through educational diversity promotes human dignity click here.
To learn more about how different levels of government are involved in education click here.