The last time Idaho updated the way it funds public schools was 25 years ago. Since then, the state’s population has grown, revenue sources have changed, and we have discovered more about how to teach children with diverse learning requirements.
A committee of lawmakers reexamined the existing school funding formula to see how it can better meet the needs of all Idaho children regardless of where they live, what they look like, or what learning differences they have. The committee released its new funding formula proposal just before the start of the legislative session, and the full Idaho State Legislature is now tasked with deciding whether to adopt it and if any modifications should be made. Given how long it has been since the last funding formula update, there is pressure to pass a fair and equitable formula that will not need to be changed in the near future. Lawmakers also want to be well-informed before making sweeping changes and potentially irreversible changes to the formula. This brief focuses solely on the wealth adjustment component of the proposed formula.
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