This idea is the result of going to a school meeting for my daughter's MPS school, where we learned that MPS gets over $12000 per student and the school she attends gets about $4000 per student. It seemed like a big difference, so I figured maybe the funding system could change a little.
My very first idea probably has all kinds of flaws, but I really can't imagine them right now. I'm calling it Schools First Funding and here's how it works:
Tax money is collected and distributed to schools based on their students.
Wait, was that too simple? There are districts and administrations and committees and programs. The money can't possibly all go to the schools, since there are lots of other people involved in running school districts (yes, I said running and not ruining).
Fine, revising... The money goes to schools first. The schools pay their teachers and support staff an appropriate amount. Then, the districts gets the rest, and they institute their programs and initiatives and administer administration with what's left, perhaps with a hierarchy of importance dictated by the school board or voters.
I know, I know, this can't possibly work, right? The district would have to submit its request for funding to the schools instead of the other way around. The district would be responsible for making efforts to keep costs at the schools down so that more administrators and specialists at the district offices could continue to drive their Benzes to work. The district would be responsible for negotiating responsible contracts with staff, but those staff members would at least feel that they were in power, and maybe for the first time, they would be.
Hey, MPS and other large districts have mandated just about every other silver bullet or magic pill, so why not give this idea a go?