Costing out studies largely underserve ELL students. Studies either
fail to mention ELL students altogether or aggregate them with
low-income or special education students to generate an overall per
pupil funding weight. Although this simplifies the calculation of
funding formulas, states run the risk of allocating fewer instructional
and fiscal resources to populations with more need by failing to account
for the unique needs of each populations.
The authors reviewed four primary cost study methodologies: Professional judgement panel (PJP), succcessful school model (SSM), evidence-based model, and cost function analysis.
Additional research is needed to assess whether and how districts are using the categorical aid allocated to ELLs. Discussion on how to account for and distribute funds to districts, especially when there are large increases in categorical aid allocations, is also warranted.
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