Follow the Money

Follow the Funding

Should it be a surprise that wealthy communities are where the most K-12 dollars per student are? Is it a surprise that all state and federal compensatory funding aims to “level the playing field” with the rich communities? Is it really surprising that the state and federal contributions are not enough?

Please note the chart which shows the contribution of local, state, and federal funding to school districts when plotted against median household income. MCH has profiled hundreds of companies’ customer lists and found that when supplemental products are offered, local wealth makes the biggest positive difference in performance. To put it simply, schools in wealthy districts spend more than schools in poor districts, lots more.

Federal, state, and local funding for schools

Size always makes a difference too. Large wealthy schools spend much more than small wealthy schools and much, much more than small schools in less affluent circumstances. And for supplemental products (print, video, software, manipulatives, etc.) schools in districts with big doses of Title I perform poorly.

The easiest way for supplemental product marketers to reach the schools based on their size and wealth is to use MCH’s RPM™ (Response Potential Model). Using the RPM, it is likely that the top 10% of schools will perform from between 10 to 100 times better than the bottom 10%. If you find this hard to believe, send us your customer file and we will provide you a free ESP™ profile to show whether it works for you.

That is not to say that Title I and other federal funding like IDEA and E-Rate are not worth going after. But the first thing to keep in mind is that no matter how much federal and state money poorer districts get, they will never have as much as districts located in wealthy places. Much of Title I funding is used for teacher salaries for example. The key to targeting the federal money is to know exactly where it is, who controls it, and for what it may be spent. Tools like MCH’s Infinite Access do most of the work, but usually it takes a sales person to identify whether a district plans to spend the funding available on the products your company sells or conversely, for a salesperson to point out to the district administrators that the funds can be used to buy their products. Yes, the federal funding rules are as confusing to school personnel as they are to many of us.