Thomas Elias: State should alter weighted school finance plan

At budgeting time, when legislators and the governor decide how much state support each public school pupil should get, it’s pretty clear that some children are more equal than others, as the late “Animal Farm” author George Orwell might have put it.

As things now stand, school districts will start out getting a base grant of $4,920 for every child they register during the next school year. Then there are extras, with the single largest category both in terms of money provided and numbers of kids involved being pupils designated as English learners.

If you have a child who speaks little or no English, his or her school will get at least an additional 8 percent from the state on top of the basic grant.

But if you’ve got an extra-bright kid there’s absolutely no state requirement that your local school district put any money into gifted and talented education programs tailored for that child. So when parents lack the funds to send children to a private or parochial school, the brightest pupils can be out of luck when it comes to the stimulation often needed to hold their attention and facilitate further progress.

State should alter weighted school finance plan.

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