Schools motivated by Results-Based Funding

A school finance policy known as “Results-Based Funding” has impacted schools since its approval in 2016, and education leaders have watched its motivational effects on other schools in their area.

Results-Based Funding (RBF) incentivizes traditional district, magnet, and charter schools to grow their impact and serve more students by offering additional per-pupil funding for “A”-rated public schools, with added dollars for those getting results in low-income communities.

In the proposed Executive Budget, the state would expand dollars to low income B” schools closing the achievement for a total of $98.3 million toward RBF in FY 2020 with 675 schools estimated to receive the funding.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School received RBF the last two school years and has strategically applied it in ways that benefit students and teachers.

Because the dollars go directly to the school rather than the Central Office of the district or charter network, school principals have a lot of say in how the dollars are spent. Sandra L. Jimenez, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School principal, explained the funding allowed her school to provide teachers with professional development, which ultimately benefits students.

“We have been able to provide our students with extended day learning, so we have before-school and after-school tutoring and other clubs, activities that expand their learning into other areas,” Jimenez said.

She added, “We are very proud of that and we are just gaining momentum in terms of what we’re doing for this because it’s been quite a process, but a really good one.”

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School is located in Nogales and resides in a district that is 82 percent free and reduced lunch.

While the school is in an underserved area, Jimenez says the school’s leaders and educators have high expectations of all their students.

“We have students that attend universities like Princeton and Yale and we’re so proud of that,” Jimenez said. “We prepare our students for that and I feel proud to be the principal there.”

She explained that the school has used the RBF dollars it received the last two years to benefit the students and put them on the path to a bright future.

“How prepared do we want them to be to get to the next level? Thinking middle school, thinking high school. We take a lot of that in mind in terms of how we are going to prepare them at the elementary school,” Jimenez said.

While Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School put RBF funds to use, other schools in the district took notice and are making changes for the better.

“We really think that we’re on our way since it’s not just our school that’s been impacted, but other schools within our school district that are not receiving funding are really motivated. We see them making connections and as we reach out to them, they’re making connections with us and they’re moving forward as well,”

As schools improve, communities thrive.

“It’s not just the schools that have received the results-based funding in my opinion,” she said. “I think it’s impacted the entire community.”

Sierra Ciaramella

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