As San Diego Unified anticipates new funding streams from Sacramento, a scuttle is growing over how to best keep track of the money.
Last summer, Gov. Jerry Brown approved the Local Control Funding Formula, a new way of shuttling money to school districts based on their individual needs. The new system also eliminates a crusty and convoluted way of determining the money districts get.
That’s good news for a large urban district like San Diego Unified. Many of its students qualify for the additional funding set aside for foster youth, English learners or students from low-income families. LCFF means more money.
To be sure, the new formula makes good on its namesake by giving local districts more flexibility in how they use their resources. It doesn’t, however, mean individual schools have more control of their funding.
That’s raised concerns about transparency from groups like UpforEd and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, who say the community needs to ensure the district is being a good steward of public money.
They’ve pulled together a coalition, which ranges from the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties to the League of Women Voters, to help bring more people into the conversation and spread information.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Let's make this abdundantly clear, parents do not know they have so much increased power. Their tax dollars are not at work, and they don't know it because the schools do NOT want them to KNOW it.
Riddle me this. Under the new formula and the additional monies how much more is the CALSTRS going to require of districts and teachers to pay when the get around to addressing the required increased contributions?
Districts and teachers are going to pay more that is a given. The question is how much and is it the real reason around the new formula?
Just gets better huh. I know. Lets ignore it......
" The pension fund for public school teachers in California faces a long-term shortfall of $74 billion, threatening its ability to pay for the retirement of nearly 1 million teachers and administrators in the nation's most populous state, officials said on Thursday."
Please, no blanket statements!! Less well performing schools often have the best and most experienced teachers - and the high performance schools owe more to involved parents than to the teachers. Low performing schools offer a much more challenging situation and environment that requires a higher degree of individualized and differential planning - most can't hack it and look for the first opportunity to get out. Sorry, that the way it goes.
Parents should not put themselves in the position to fight over the crumbs, while 90% of the budget goes for salaries and pension benefits. The new focus on the achievement gap for the remaining 10% of the budget rather than excellence with lead to a further decline in the public schools and little reform generated by local control.
Unequal funding of the public schools WILL reduce the achievement gap in the District. This inequality of funding will lead to more Gate, Seminar, and high achievement students switching to private. religious and charter schools were they will receive an appropriate level of instruction and resources not available from public schools, who place education secondary to social engineering.
@Richard Bagnell On the other hand, there's the system that they use in a place that ranks much more highly in global educational ranking than the US. Canada really works at getting economic equality spread out provincially, far beyond local school districts, so that funding is not determined by local property taxes, and it works for them. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2013/05/14/63131/canadas-approach-to-school-funding/
And then there's the example of the country whose schools are the ranked the best of all, Finland. All of the schools a equitably funded, all students recieve a free meal daily, as well as free health care, transportation, learning materials, and counseling. Yet, curricularly speaking, the controls are on the local level.
@-P @Richard Bagnell I could accept either Canada's or Finland's system but California has decided to fund schools and students unequally. The state will give more funds to English learning students and poorly preforming schools and students and less money to high performing public schools and students. All property taxes are pooled in California and high property tax area don't get more funds per student (and now they get less per student).
@Richard Bagnell @-P true. but the less well performing schools tend to have worse facilities, less experienced teachers, etc. I know anecdotes don't count for much other than sympathy when talking about system wide issues, but I'm going to use one anyway. The parent of one of my kid's friends was a long term substitute teacher (which means being assigned to a particular class for months at a time) who told me of one time when the assignment came the day before the school year began. When instruction started there was no furniture in the room, and not enough books.