A new interactive tool from the Every Child NC Coalition calculates the impact that the state’s Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan would have on state funding for every school district. The tool distills the 57-page Leandro Plan into something that is tangible and readily understandable for advocates and policymakers.
The Leandro Plan proposes to make changes to 16 of the allotments by which the state sends funding to school districts. In some instances, the Plan would simply change the amount of state spending. In other instances, the Plan would amend the formula itself. The impact of those changes varies from district-to-district based on the characteristics of each district. As a result, it has been difficult for local stakeholders to really understand what the Leandro Plan would mean for their district.
The Every Child NC tool compares each district’s estimated base budget for FY 22 against what each district would receive if the Leandro Plan were implemented. The tool shows that under the Leandro Plan, the average district would see their state funding increase by more than 38 percent. Yet-to-be-determined increases in pay for school employees would push this figure higher.
One benefit of the tool is that it should facilitate local planning on how districts will deploy these additional resources. For every district, the Leandro Plan would provide a substantial funding increase. Local school board members will have great flexibility in determining how these dollars will be spent and how resources will be distributed across schools.
Of course, the Leandro Plan will not be implemented without action from the General Assembly. The tool can also be used by advocates to help explain to legislators the benefits of funding the plan and providing students with the education they are owed under our state constitution.
It is important to note that the tool does not include all aspects of the plan. There are many state level programs, that would benefit all students, but would not be reflected in local school district budgets. For example, the Leandro Plan would make substantial investments in teacher and principal preparation, statewide support for low-performing schools, and reforms to our school accountability system. Additionally, the Plan calls for substantial investment in early education programs such as NC Pre-K and Smart Start. Coalition leaders say they are working on a similar tool to capture the county-level impact of proposed early education investments.