SCHOOL-FINANCE POLICY AND STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN - KENTUCKY EXPERIENCE

Authors
Citation
Je. Adams, SCHOOL-FINANCE POLICY AND STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN - KENTUCKY EXPERIENCE, The Future of children, 7(3), 1997, pp. 79-95
Citations number
25
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Journal title
ISSN journal
1054-8289
Volume
7
Issue
3
Year of publication
1997
Pages
79 - 95
Database
ISI
SICI code
1054-8289(1997)7:3<79:SPASOT>2.0.ZU;2-2
Abstract
School finance reform is usually done piecemeal, with many changes mad e to an existing framework over a period of decades. Also, finance ref orm is generally carried out separately from reform of school programs or governance. A notable exception is Kentucky which, in response to a 1989 state supreme court ruling, created an entirely new elementary and secondary education system with new finance and governance mechani sms and new academic expectations and accountability mechanisms. This article summarizes the major elements of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) and research on its impact. Revenues increased, funding di fferences between districts shrank, but basic allocations (percentage spent on instruction, facilities, and so on) changed little. A new Off ice of Education Accountability, reporting to the legislature, tracks incentives and sanctions for schools that progress or regress against their baseline performance. School site councils (SSCs) are in operati on, with authority to hire the principal and to make decision about cu rriculum, instruction, and the school budget. Major instructional chan ges were implemented in the early elementary grades, and model restruc tured high schools are being studied. Significant supplemental service s (both academic and social) have been added. Overall, much progress h as been made in putting new structures in place, through changes in pr actice evolve more slowly. The article identifies barriers to change a nd concludes that KERA's strategy is promising, but more focus should be placed on school-level uses of education dollars. SSCs have authori ty, but they should also be offered substantial guidance regarding whi ch practices will most reliably promote learning.