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Chicago Public Schools Will Get Money for No-Show Students, Again
9/26/14 | WBEZ

Behind the Headline
Funding Phantom Students
Summer 2013 | Education Next

Chicago Superintendent Barbara Byrd-Bennett has announced that schools will continue to receive funding for students that are not enrolled this year, “holding harmless” schools that do not meet enrollment targets.

In an article for Education Next, Marguerite Roza and Jon Fullerton look at the practice of “funding phantom students.” The authors describe four common practices that allow public funds to flow to schools for students who are no longer enrolled:  protection clauses against declining enrollment;  hold-harmless provisions for districts competing with charter schools;  subsidies to small districts;  and minimum categorical allocations.

Roza and Fullerton note that policies that send funds to schools for students who are no longer enrolled “weaken the incentives that should drive change and adaptation as enrollments fluctuate.”

-Education Next

Last updated October 1, 2014