Charts of the Week: The Impact of New School-Level Risk Focus Funding

This week the Council for the District of Columbia added a caption to the FY23 budget with two additional weightings to the student funding formula, which would provide additional funding to schools where 40% or more of the student population is designated as at risk, and to schools where 70% or more of the student population is designated as at risk. Students are defined as at risk if they are eligible for public benefits (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP), are homeless, involved in the foster care system, or are overage in high school.

DC currently provides supplemental funding for at-risk students through a 0.24 weighting ($2,981) and a 0.06 supplement for older high school students ($745) in the student funding formula. This translates to $136 million in funding for at-risk students in the FY23 budget. The new at-risk concentration weight would add $10.3 million, or 8%, to this previous total.

At the school level, concentration funding will have different impacts for students identified as being at risk depending on the student population served by their school. In schools where zero to 39% of students are designated as at-risk, students will not receive any additional at-risk funding. Students attending eligible schools that serve at least 40% of students designated as at-risk will receive an additional amount of an average of $275 per student designated as at-risk. The amount per student varies between $59 per student for schools serving between 40 and 49% of students at risk and $520 per student for schools serving at least 90% of students at risk. This can be compared to distributing this additional funding for at-risk students equally to all at-risk students, regardless of where they attend school, by increasing the at-risk weight from 0.24 to 0.26 for provide an additional $233 per student identified as at risk.

The majority (85%) of at-risk students attend schools that will receive this additional funding for the concentration of at-risk students, but the 15% of at-risk students who attend schools where less than 40% of students are designated as at risk not receive additional resources. Of 250 schools, 162 are expected to receive additional focus funds, with the majority of schools serving between 50 and 79 percent of students designated as at-risk — these are schools receiving an average of between $37,000 and $88,000 extra. risk concentration financing (approximately 10% of risk funds).

In the 2022-23 school year, the average amount per school of additional funding for the at-risk concentration is $64,000. Schools will receive more funding if they serve more students designated as at-risk, ranging from an additional $9,000 for schools with student populations between 40-49% at-risk and an additional $171,000 for schools serving at least 90% of students at risk. Unlike the rest of the money that goes through the student funding formula to DCPS or publicly chartered Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and then distributes to schools, this at-risk concentration funding would be allocated directly at the school.

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