December 21, 2014

Leverage

State and county educations funds are allocated on a per pupil basis.  The allocation formula for county funds is nearly 100% headcount driven with minor adjustments for poverty and special needs.  State funds are allocated on a much more complicated formula, but the biggest factor is headcount.

You often hear “the money follows the students.”  What this means is that state and county funding flows to the school district where the student is enrolled.  If a student residing in unincorporatedShelbyCountyis granted an inter-district transfer to attendGermantownschools, the state and county funds associated with that student will be paid to theGermantownschool district.

The consulting study performed for Germantown schools assumed the current attendance zones would remain intact.  The resulting school district would serve 8,142 students.  These students would “attract” these funds:

State Allocation         $31,159,000
CountyAllocation      $27,862,000
$59,021,000

This $59 million will be allocated to educate these students whether or not we form a municipal school district.  However, if we do not form a municipal school district, there is NO guarantee that these funds will be spent in our schools.  The TPC consolidation plan clearly calls for shifting some of these funds out of suburban schools.

State guidelines establish a minimum city contribution for municipal school districts.  For Germantown, this minimum is $2,100,000.  By adding a relatively small amount of city funds, we can gain 100% control over the $59,021,000 of state and county funding.

No municipal school district = No control over school budgets

Municipal school district = 100% control over school budgets

For every $1Germantownspends on education, we will gain control of $30 in state and county funding.  That’s leverage.