Responsive Funding Systems

State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning

The state supports adequate, equitable and flexible funding and resource systems that enable educators to advance personalized learning and address educational inequities in real-time. These funding and resource systems support the launch and growth of exploratory pilots and professional learning communities that identify, scale and sustain equitable funding practices that advance high-quality personalized learning experiences for all students.


The Goal:The state has partnered with a diverse coalition of stakeholders to take preliminary steps to identify and address funding barriers to implementation of personalized teaching and learning models.

Support Actions:

  • The state collaborates with diverse stakeholders to identify funding streams that can be leveraged to support a vision for personalized learning and to identify the barriers that make it difficult for local innovators to pilot new learning models. Strategies to improve funding systems should address:
    • State and local revenue adequacy and sustainability
    • Equitable and flexible distribution of state and local education funding to target resources where they are needed the most
    • Flexibility and incentives to ensure equitable access to high-quality learning experiences and instruction
  • State policymakers analyze inequities in the state’s school funding formula, including gaps in per-pupil expenditures between schools, and partner with district leaders, educators, communities and other stakeholders to create a plan that ensures sufficient funding to meet the needs of every student.
Strategic Question: What types of funding barriers make it difficult for districts and schools to advance personalized learning models?


The Goal: The state has supported district and regional exploration of innovative funding strategies and has leveraged multiple funding sources to advance personalized learning systems.

Supporting Actions: 

  • The state commits resources to ensure equitable funding and expanded student access to personalized learning. The state also provides technical support to help districts target local funding for student groups with the greatest need, including exploration and participation in the federal weighted-student-funding program.
  • The state leverages federal funding to advance personalized learning, prioritizing resources for districts with schools identified for comprehensive and targeted support. The state also supports districts to leverage federal funding to implement high-quality personalized learning.
Strategic Question: How can the state leverage federal and state funding along with greater funding flexibility to help districts advance innovative personalized learning approaches?

Statewide Transformation

The Goal:  The state has adopted a new flexible funding system that enables all districts to sustain personalized teaching and learning models and has established dedicated funding to support the continued growth and refinement of statewide personalized learning systems.

Supporting Actions:

  • The state helps districts reallocate local resources to support personalized learning and to engage in cross-sector regional partnerships that leverage public-private resources to scale practices with the greatest potential to address achievement gaps.
  • The state supports the scale and sustainability of personalized learning by aligning its funding system to the state’s vision for student success and by establishing collaborative partnerships that marshal third-party and local school district funding to sustain high-impact personalized learning approaches.
Strategic Question: How can the state mobilize regions, communities and philanthropic partners to sustain equitable and responsive funding systems that enable high-quality personalized learning?

Read About an Early Adopter

In 2015, Idaho’s H.B. 110 supported the state’s shift to mastery-based education, requiring the state to conduct a statewide campaign to promote understanding of mastery education, establish a committee of educators to identify barriers to implementing mastery education and create a process for incubating district-level mastery learning initiatives. The Idaho Legislature appropriated a $1.4 million annual line-item in FY 2018 to support continuation of the mastery education pilot program.

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Twelve policy conditions are necessary for a successful statewide transformation to personalized learning.