Backpack Funding: Make the Money Follow The Student

The amount of money that has been thrown at education from various sources over the last 50 years is staggering. One thing has been learned from said money throwing is that it isn’t working.

If you haven’t read The K- 12 Implosion yet, you should.


I just finished looking at the 2014 grants for ‘College Ready’ on the Gates Foundation site. This lesson of money throwing at education is something Bill Gates apparently hasn’t learned. The 2014 ‘College Ready’ grants totaled over $92 million.

Over at, I spotted this short video on Backpack funding for education. This is a very different approach to funding for education.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of Backpack funding, also known as weighted student funding, the idea is money is assigned to the child, not the school and that money follows the child. The idea is that this cuts down on wasteful spending, helps with customization for the student and puts a cork in the corporate influences now raiding education.

Joy Pullman at Heartland summarizes the upside to Backpack funding:

School choice advocates encourage attaching education monies to individual children because it focuses education on the child, stymies special interests, and increases the likelihood education providers will have to compete and excel to earn money instead of receiving it automatically. Choice saves states and taxpayers money because families have strong incentives to use the money wisely, compare options, and demand more for less. It also allows for flexible, customized education if the child’s family is allowed to divide the money among several different providers and programs according to the child’s interests and needs.


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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