APA Consulting has been a leader in school finance nationally for over thirty years. We have worked in all fifty states and the District of Columbia addressing school finance issues. A number of states use school finance funding formulas developed wholly or in part by APA staff. Over the past fifteen years APA has helped lead the movement from focusing on the equity of state funding systems to the adequacy of these systems. This change focuses states on examining what it takes for all students to meet the educational standards set by the state. The shift to adequacy has made ensuring there are adequate resources for all students - especially those with special needs such as students in special education, those at-risk of academic failure, and English Language Learners - is the focus of state funding systems. The APA school finance team includes Justin Silverstein, John Myers, Mark Fermanich, Bob Palaich, Amanda Brown and Kathryn Rooney. Between them they have more than 100 years of combined experience examining school finance issues. Past President, John Augenblick, though recently retired, still serves as an adviser on many school finance projects.
Please click on the links below to learn more about our work in School Finance. To download a fact sheet summarizing our work in this area, please click here.
- For Littleton Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools we have helped them evaluate their facility usage. The examinations looked at the capacity usage of all buildings and the education programs each school can provide. Working through large community engagement processes APA helped the districts create an efficient and effective use of school buildings.
- We also help districts examine their competitiveness in the labor market. APA works with districts to identify their competitors, either locally or nationally, and evaluates how competitive the district is in attracting and retaining qualified staff. The examination can include salary levels, benefit packages, and working conditions.
- Like states, districts must figure out the most effective way to allocate resources. Districts have various approaches to allocating resources to their schools. The APA school finance team has worked with multiple districts to examine their funding approach. Over the past five years we have worked closely with the Poudre School District on their innovative Student Based Budgeting approach. The district utilizes a system similar to a state weighted student formula to allocate funds to schools. School leaders then are tasked to manage a site-based budget that best fits the schools’ priorities. APA helped the district create the school size adjustment and to evaluate the program after its first five years of implementation.