A bill introduced last week by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), would base a K-12 district’s funding on enrollment, removing average daily attendance (ADA) from the state funding formula, starting in 2023-24, according to a report from EdSource.

Currently, district funding is based on the number of students enrolled, minus the daily average number of absent students. The formula has caused districts to struggle to budget for all of their students because they only receive funding for students who show up on a given day, proponents of the bill say.

The policy change is estimated to bring more than $3 billion in extra funding to K-12 districts in California.

California is one of only six states that factor ADA into their districts’ baseline funding formula, Sen. Portantino said at a press conference last week. The others are Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

In order to receive the supplemental funding, districts would have to submit their “average daily membership” — total enrollment divided by the total number of instructional days — to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction by July 1 and demonstrate a “maintenance of effort” to address students who consistently are not coming to school. The bill also requires that at least half of the extra funding to be spent would have to address chronic absenteeism and habitual truancy.

The bill includes a hold harmless provision so that no district will lose money as a result of the policy change. Sen. Portantino indicated that lawmakers will consider tweaking the bill to also base enrollment numbers on a three-year average, which is something he said districts have been asking for due to significant drops in enrollment since the start of the pandemic.