- The 2010 Formula’s “core instruction amount” of $8,922 is inadequate because it does not include, among other things, operating and “other” expense. These costs amount to approximately 20% of the typical school district’s budget. As a result, these costs must be paid for with 100% local funds, with none of the cost-sharing of Step 3 of the formula. In contrast, the 2007 Working Group report recommended a base amount of $10,600, which would be higher today after accounting for increases in the cost of living over the past eight years.
- The 2010 Formula’s single adjustment of 40% for children who qualify for free or reduced price lunch (FRPL) does not account for the extra needs of children learning the English language. The consultant justified this at the time by saying that the two populations (FRPL children and ELL children) are closely correlated. This is not the case in Rhode Island. For example, in 2012, the relative populations in selected communities was as follows:
For this reason, the 2007 Task Force developed a formula with an additional 0.2 weight for ELL students based on its consultant’s research. This weight was additive to a poverty weight of 0.25 for reduced price lunch and .5 for free lunch.
As shown on the Quadratic Mean Table, the quadratic mean transfers state aid from some of the State’s poorest communities to its wealthiest ones.
The following table highlights some of those transfers.
Actual Share(Including Quadratic Mean)
Mean % Impact
When it was proposed, the quadratic mean was presented as a way to help all communities afford the extra cost of educating children in poverty. In fact, however, the quadratic mean’s aid per student in poverty increases as the community’s wealth per student increases, as this chart shows:
AEWAV Per Student
EWAV Share %
State Share %
Mean % Impact
Mean State Aid Per Child