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K-12Lead of the Week (1)

Review State System of K-12 Education Finance

From the September 24 issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report

Analysis of North Dakota Public Elementary & Secondary Education & Funding Due October 22, Office of Management and Budget

Their Description:
Senate Bill 2200 implements the new public education funding plan recommended by the North Dakota Commission on Education Improvement. Section 51 of this Bill provides the Commission with the authority to commission this study:

“The commission shall examine the current system of delivering and financing public elementary and secondary education and shall develop recommendations addressing educational adequacy, the equitable distribution of state education funds, the allocation of funding responsibility between federal, state, and local resources, and any other matters that could result in the improvement of elementary and secondary education in the state.”

The Commission .... (as)... “purchasing agency” is soliciting proposals from offerors who are experienced in conducting evidenced-based studies of statewide elementary and secondary public education and funding....

The contractor shall conduct an evidence-based study to guide the state to accomplish educational adequacy, which is generally defined as a level of funding that would allow each district and school to deploy a range of educational programs and strategies that would provide each student an equal opportunity to meet the state’s education achievement standards....

(1) The study should first include an analysis and recommendations to assist the Purchasing Agency in determining the performance outcomes that would indicate the extent to which the state is providing an adequate education on a statewide basis....

(2) ...The study should include all costs related to instruction, instructional support, student support, and school administration. This study will not include transportation, operations and maintenance, food, or capital costs.

3) The study should first analyze current resource-use practices among districts and schools statewide and recommend ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness by using, realigning, and reallocating existing resources provided by the new state education funding formula. The study, secondly, should analyze any adjustments to future funding levels....

4) The study should include methods of improving education service delivery and cost saving efficiencies through shared services....
5) The study should include methods of providing high-quality professional development....

6) The study should provide recommendations for varying school configurations....

7) The study should analyze and compare... other states....

10) The Contractor must identify all known federal requirements that are relevant to this analysis and the eventual implementation of recommendations identified therein....

In order for proposals to be considered responsive, the firm or individuals on the project team must have prepared a similar statewide analysis related to K-12 education within the previous four years....

The commission has set aside up to $150,000 for this contract to include all work to accomplish the study and perform all related follow-up activities.

Our Thoughts: A high level, state-wide analysis in a small jurisdiction and a clear rural-urban bifurcation, on a topic of great policy relevance. A state that encompasses most national problems in a microcosm.

A tight budget, but nice work for a small project team with experience in state education finance.

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