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Aurora Institute

To realize the goal of education system transformation, a sustained commitment to investing in innovation is critical. Dedicated appropriations and state funding sources create momentum in a state to more quickly scale personalized, competency-based learning models.


Schools need resources and investments in innovation to support educators designing innovative learning models that benefit all students. Effectively planning, launching, and scaling high-quality, personalized, competency-based learning often requires a focused approach to fund statewide initiatives to build educator capacity for student-centered learning. Education leaders can look to and learn from other states on how they are funding innovation pilots, learning communities, professional development, and other state initiatives to build capacity for transformation. Few states rely on a single funding source to support these initiatives.

An important first step is to create space in state policy for practitioners and educators to redesign learning. As schools and districts innovate, investment in resources for capacity-building, professional learning and technical assistance is helpful.


  • States can engage districts, communities, and state stakeholders to identify the areas where funding is needed to increase capacity.
  • States can identify existing funding sources that could be repurposed for capacity building.
  • States can develop a diverse, cross-disciplinary working group to study national and international approaches to school finance and funding formulas to align with student-centered learning models and ensure equitable funding for all students.
Related COntent

Issue Brief

June 1, 2018

State Funding Strategies to Support Education Innovation

Maria Worthen, Natalie Truong, Susan Patrick


January 1, 2018

Current to Future State: Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

Dale Frost, Maria Worthen, Natalie Truong, Susan Patrick


May 1, 2017

Competency-Based Education & School Finance

Foundation for Excellence in Education