N.C. Sen. Michael Lee introduces bill to change state funding for schools

State Sen. Michael Lee introduces bill to change state funding for schools
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - State Sen. Michael Lee filed a bill on April 6 that would determine school funding based on the number of students in a district and weighted factors.

The bill’s primary sponsors include Lee and fellow Republicans Amy Galey and Lisa Barnes.

S.B. 670 “Create New Weighted Student Funding Model” would give districts a base amount for every student. Then, additional weighted allocations would be provided to schools for each student in these categories:

  • Average Daily Membership (the number of days each month a student is enrolled divided by the number of school days in the month) in grades K-5.
  • ADM in grades 8-12.
  • Economically disadvantaged student factor.
    • Economically disadvantaged students would include any students eligible for free meals through SNAP, TANF or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (TFDPIR), or ‘directly certified’ students.
    • It also includes students who qualify “based on their classification as homeless, runaway, migrant, foster, Medicaid recipient or being enrolled in Head Start or a comparable Stat-funded Head Start or pre-kindergarten program,” and students who qualify via “a method consistent with State or federal guidance for financial assistance regardless of participation or eligibility in the National School Lunch Program.”
  • ADM in small county school administrative units.
    • “Small” means districts that have an average daily membership of under 3,300
  • Student headcount of exceptional children.
    • “Exceptional children” here refers to children with disabilities as defined by Chapter 115C Article 9 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
  • Student headcount of academically or intellectually gifted students.
  • Student headcount of limited English proficient students.

The bill was referred to the rules committee on Monday, April 10, following its first reading.