In the allocation in Oregon of State School Funds, English Language Learners (ELL) are given more weight. They count for fifty percent more, such that each ELL counts for one and one-half regular student. Up to now there has been no tracking of whether those extra funds (the fifty percent extra) were actually spent on ELLs. HB 3499 passed by the 2015 Oregon Legislative changed that and required Oregon school districts to annually report revenue, spending, educational, and demographic data on their ELLs. The Oregon Department of Education has collected the data in their “An Annual Report to the Legislature on English Language Learner, 2014-2015" (here).
Oregon school districts overall are only spending 86% of the allocation of State School Fund they receive for ELLs on ELLs. That is 86% of the sum of all those extra 50% allocations. Some districts spend more than their ELL revenues, some less.
Oregon school districts are spending over $22 million less on ELLs than their State School Fund allocation. In 2014-15, “ELL Formula Revenues” were $165,162,932 and “Total ELL General Fund Expenditures” were 142,475,134.
Said another way, that $22 million in spending was shifted from ELLs (often students of color, often poor) to spending on other students (usually better off). To me, this is an example of the type of systemic racism that needs to be rooted out.
Here are some of the larger districts spending less than they received.
And here is Portland Public Schools (with more coming in a separate post):