AEFP 45th Annual Conference Program
Chair:, Texas A&M University
Chair:, Vanderbilt University
Chair:, University of Tennessee
Chair:, Southern Methodist University
Chair:, Michigan State University
Chair:, American Institutes for Research
Chair:, Michigan State Unviersity
Chair:, North Carolina State University
Chair:, Stanford University
Chair:, George Washington University
Chair:, Florida State University
Chair:, Florida State Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research
There is very high demand for a geographic cost adjustment index that provides geographic cost adjustment factors to facilitate cross-area comparisons at the state, county, and school district levels. This policy talk will explore the application of geographic cost adjustments to State policy initiatives; State funding formulas; and the data from Federal education funding formulas, such as the Title I program.
School districts use real resources—teachers, principals, classroom materials—to produce education. Because of price differences, real resources are more expensive in some locations than in others and expenditures for the same services vary in different parts of the country. School districts in high cost environments must spend more than districts in low cost environments just to provide the same level of educational services. Inequalities in school district purchasing power complicate cross-state comparisons of school finance data and undermine the equity and adequacy goals of school finance formulas within states.
Recently the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Census Bureau developed the Comparable Wage Index for Teachers (CWIFT), which is a measure of the systematic, regional variations in the salaries of college graduates who are not K-12 educators (in this context, those with occupations or employers in elementary or secondary education). https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/Economic/TeacherWage CWIFT is designed to adjust district-level finance data (primarily, staff salaries/wages) in order to make better comparisons across geographic areas and can be updated annually.
This session will discuss the many possible applications of the CWIFT. Specifically, the session will provide examples regarding: applying the CWIFT to a congressionally mandated study on the Title I Formula; prospectively applying the CWIFT to the Florida Education Finance Program; applying a similar geographic cost adjustment to the New Jersey education funding formula; and using the CWIFT in scholarly research.