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What are the formula "multipliers"?

What are the BEF formula multipliers and why are they important? It’s been two weeks since we started walking through the various components of the new BEF formula (thanks for hanging in there!). While it may seem like there can’t be any more to the formula, we are almost finished. Moving from the student portion of the formula, we now tackle two major components—the multipliers.
 
When the Commission developed the formula, they recognized that the weighted student count was critical in defining the educational resources each school district required for student-specific factors—however, they also recognized the importance of acknowledging school district factors such as local wealth and a school district’s local tax effort and burden when defining how much state aid each school district would receive.
 
To accomplish this adjustment, the BEF formula takes the weighted student count for each school district and multiplies this figure by two measures (the multipliers):

  • The Median Household Income Index (MHII), which measures a school district's relative local wealth; and
  • The Local Effort/Capacity Index (LECI), which measures a school district's local tax effort per household and its capacity to generate local revenue.
These multipliers play a major role in the outcome of the BEF formula. Both the MHII and the LECI can be greater than 1.0 or less than 1.0, and since they function as multipliers, they have the capacity to greatly increase or decrease a school district’s weighted student count. The product of the weighted student count, the MHII and the LECI is the Adjusted Weighted Student Count—and this is the final number that determines how much state BEF a district will receive.
 
The example below illustrates how the BEF formula takes the weighted student count and applies the two multipliers to calculate the adjusted weighted student count. Shamokin SD in Northumberland County had a weighted student count of 2,971.2 in the 2018-19 BEF formula. Their median household income index was 1.5111 and their local effort capacity index was 0.9300 resulting in an adjusted weighted student count of 4,175.4. The AWSC was 1.4053 times (140.53%) the weighted student count. While for this school district one multiplier was greater than 1 and the other less than 1, the net result of the two multipliers was greater than 1, adjusting the school district's student count based on district-level need by 1.4053.
 

During this week, we will walk through aech multiplier over the next few days to help you better understand the mechanics of these rather complex factors as well as how adjusted weighted student count creates school districts shares and how state BEF funds get distributed based on AWSC.

In the meantime, click on the map below to review for each school district the mathematical impact of the formula multipliers, i.e. the difference between weighted student count (pre-multipliers) and the adjusted weighted student count (post-multipliers).
 
Map: AWSC/WSC
 
  • Each of our maps illustrate data relevant to the topic of the day for each school district. You can find the map legend at the top left of your screen after opening the map. 
  • Hover over any school district with your mouse to open a pop-up label providing information associated with that school district.
  • You can filter school districts by locale type (urban, suburban, town, or rural), by intermediate unit, and occasionally by other factors as well.