QBE Funding

FTE and QBE – what are they?

QBE funding comes from the State. It stands for Quality Basic Education, an act of the state legislation that enforces the funding of public schools.

The Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act requires local school systems to report student enrollment in terms of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students.
State funding for the operation of instructional programs are generated from FTE data reported by local school systems.

The basic FTE ‘value’ given a 1.0 is a grade 9-12 general education high school student. All other relative values go up from there according to the needs of the identified and categorized student. For example, a student identified as ‘gifted’ has a value of 1.65 relative to the 1.0 standard high school student. The gifted student’s basic funding is therefore 1.65 times the standard high school student’s funding.

Historically, below are some examples of how the state’s commitment to funding public schools has waned over the years:

Interesting chart from Nancy Jester’s blog — http://nancyjester.com/fy2012qbeweightandvalue.aspx

Program — FY2012 Weight — Value >> FY2014 Weight — Value
Kindergarten — 1.6609 — $ 4,550 >> 1.6508 — $4,030
Kindergarten Early Intervention — 2.053 — $ 5,625 >> 2.0348 — $4,967
Grades 1-3 — 1.2865 — $ 3,525 >> 3 1.2849 — $3,136
Grades 1-3 Early Intervention — 1.8054 — $ 4,946 >> 1.7931 — $4,377
Grades 4-5 — 1.0327 — $ 2,829 >> 1.0355 — $2,528
Grades 4-5 Early Intervention — 1.7998 — $ 4,931 >> 1.7867 — $4,361
Grades 6-8 — 1.0165 — $ 2,785 >> 1.0277 — $2,509
Middle School Programs — 1.1220 — $ 3,074 >> 1.1310 — $2,761
Grades 9-12 — 1.0000 — $ 2,740 >> 1.0000 — $2,441
Vocational Labs — 1.1838 — $ 3,243 >> 1.1916 — $2,909
Special Ed. – Category I — 2.3973 — $ 6,568 >> 2.3798 — $5,809
Special Ed. – Category II — 2.8209 — $ 7,728 >> 2.7883 — $6,806
Special Ed. – Category III — 3.5939 — $ 9,846 >> 3.5493 — $8,664
Special Ed. – Category IV — 5.8299 — $ 15,973 >> 5.7509 — $14,038
Special Ed. – Category V — 2.4606 — $ 6,741 >> 2.4511 — $5,983
Gifted — 1.6694 — $ 4,574 >> 1.6589 — $4,049
Remedial Education — 1.3141 — $ 3,600 >> 1.3087 — $3,195
Alternative Education — 1.6046 — $ 4,396 >> 1.4711 — $3,591
ESOL Program — 2.5356 — $ 6,947 >> 2.5049 — $6,114

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From the QBE website:

The Quality Basic Education Act

Major educational reform legislation came to Georgia in 1985 with the enactment of Governor Joe Frank Harris’s Quality Basic Education Act (QBE). The issue that compelled the passage of QBE was the inequality in funding among school systems in the state. The state has traditionally funded a portion of local school system budgets, and the remaining support came from local taxes. Before QBE, school systems received state allocations on the basis of the number of students enrolled, without any adjustment for the fiscal condition of the school system or its ability to raise revenues on its own. Rural systems could not generate as much local funding as suburban districts could. By the early 1980s urban school systems with shrinking tax bases were also having difficulty keeping funding at already established levels, and legislators from both urban and rural counties called for funding equalization. Suburban legislators wanted more accountability for state funds and higher standards for teachers, but they opposed proposals that would redirect the state money their districts currently received.
QBE, which was introduced in the state senate by Roy Barnes, increased the total amount of money appropriated for K-12 education. Under the “local fair share” provision, additional state funds were given to school districts that increased local funding. QBE also introduced the “student full-time equivalent” standard in funding. This complicated mechanism allocated state funding to local school districts not on the basis of the total number of pupils enrolled in the system but depending on how many hours students were in class during a school day. The state acquired the power to compel poorly funded systems to spend more money on programs found deficient.

Further, the act established minimum salary levels for educators and merit pay incentives for outstanding teachers. A special task force in the Georgia Department of Education was charged with evaluating the distribution of funds and ensuring that all public school systems complied with QBE guidelines.
QBE also raised the professional standards for teacher certification and funded continuing-education opportunities for teachers already in the field. The act allowed the state school board to set pupil-to-teacher ratios, offer incentives to local school districts for Head Start and full-day kindergarten programs, and establish graduation competencies in math, science, language, social science, and health. QBE also mandated that Georgia history be taught in the eighth grade.
Finally, QBE established the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), which set guidelines for the specific material to be taught at each grade level. The QCC remained in place for nearly two decades.

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