YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 23

Results-Based Budgeting Origin: Oakland Unified School District, California Bill Name/Number: Oakland Unified School District Impact Assessment Results-Based Budgeting Link: Click here Summary: In this impact assessment, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) details its progression from enrollment-based formulas to its current operational procedure of results-based budgeting. In 2004, OUSD pioneered results-based budgeting (RBB) – also known as student-based budgeting, weighted student funding, and fair student funding, among others – for its 108 schools. This new allocation system was a strategy to increase equity, transparency, autonomy, and accountability throughout OUSD. In addition to creating budget equity, RBB gives schools more flexibility in configuring their own staffing arrangement and instructional programs. Talking Points & Important Information: • School finance reform has become a key component for transitioning public schools in the United States, and, over the last decade, a growing number of districts have turned to the results-based budgeting model in which budgets are allocated to schools in dollars based on the needs of students within a school, rather than in staff positions. • Student-based budgeting allows for more equitable and rational allocation of funds among students and schools with differing levels of and types of needs. Moreover, RBB is a better alignment of school budgets with instructional goals. Schools are able to express the needs of their students clearly and request services from central offices. • RBB transfers resources – and thereby authority – to school communities and enables them to make better decisions and resource configurations for students. • Furthermore, RBB is a more transparent budgeting model because it forces districts to openly account for each investment and it places more pressure on central offices – rather than school sites – to make cuts in budget and staff. • The current structure of most school districts in the U.S. is primarily top-down and compliance-oriented. The low level of achievement of many students causes policymakers in all levels to impose additional rules and restrictions on how schools use funds. With the RBB system, the school shifts its focus from inputs and compliance to student outcomes. This doesn’t mean that districts will not comply with state and federal regulations, but rather provides space and time for school districts to dedicate resources to strategy, innovation, and reinvention. • For more resources on smart budgeting, click here. 2015 POLICY BOOK SCHOOL INTRO BOARD LEVEL PAGE 23