U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) will be the first to pilot new flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to create a student-centered funding system. The model is designed to equitably allocate local, state and federal resources based on student needs.
“Puerto Rico’s use of a student-centered funding system will help to ensure those with the greatest need receive the most support” said Secretary DeVos. “Amid the hardships and challenges following Hurricane Maria, I am pleased to see Puerto Rico rethinking school and putting students’ needs above all else.”
Added Puerto Rico Secretary of Education Julia Keleher, “Puerto Rico’s ability to provide a quality education for its youth depends on how we fund K-12 education and the way funds are allocated. This pilot allows us to take a more scientific approach and track the relationship between strategic investments and future learning gains. We are committed to implementing effective solutions that benefit our students and ensure accountability to our families.”
ESSA provides for 50 school districts to pilot a new student-centered funding system that combines local, state and federal dollars. This innovative approach allows maximal resources to be allocated to schools based on quantifiable student need, directing the most resources to support students who need them most. The result is a more equitable, predictable and transparent method of allocating resources that puts students first.
ESSA specifically requires that pilot districts allocate substantially more funding to support students from low-income families, English learners, and any other educationally disadvantaged group as chosen by the school district. Puerto Rico designed its system to allocate additional funds to support students from low-income families, language learners and students in rural schools.
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