Funding Our Children For Success

December 8, 2017

Rebecca Gunnlaugsson, Ph.D

Visiting Fellow, Tax & Budget

During the forty years since the passage of the Education Finance Act (1977), South Carolina’s K-12 education financing system has evolved in a piecemeal fashion to become a complex spider web of funding. Since 2001, per-pupil expenditures have grown faster than inflation, while student achievement has faltered. A new model that focuses on students instead of programs is necessary to ensure a stable, equitable system.

Our proposed model, presented here, is a modern restoration of the Education Finance Act- an EFA Version 2.0. It is a model that embodies the essential elements of a stable, equitable system. With these 2.0 reforms in place, principals and teachers will be empowered to truly be the CEO’s of their schools and classrooms, seeing dollars flow down into the classroom and decoupled from the hodge-podge of well-intentioned but unproductive programs and their resulting state and district bureaucracies. Also, through the power of choice and technology, parents will be empowered to truly customize a 21st century education experience that meets the unique needs of their child.

Download the full report here.

4 key takeaways:

  • Empowering teachers, principals, and parents is a crucial component of student success
  • Shifting revenue sources prevents school districts from developing ongoing sustainable budgets
  • A new funding formula is necessary to ensure a competitive South Carolina
  • The amount of money spent on education in SC bears little weight on the outcome student success