Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula has led to heated debate and a strong stance against the change from the William S. Hart Union High School District.
The proposal would allocate money on a per pupil basis with supplemental funding based on the number of students that are not English language proficient, are from low-income families, or are in foster care.
The Hart District is not in favor of the proposal because it could drastically decrease funding in the coming years, said Gail Pinsker, public relations officer for the Hart District.
“This is a lack of funds for us because we do not have many students that will qualify for the additional funding that they are offering,” Pinsker said.
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The general purpose revenue limits funding system currently in place offers a different revenue limit to each school district in California. A complicated formula that includes local property taxes, state taxes, students average daily attendance, among other variables provides the formula for how much money each school is allocated.
“Based on the projections and cost of living increase projections we would potentially have an annual revenue of $30 million less (as of 2020, per year) than the current funding formula,” Pinsker said. “Right now there are numerous categorical programs that will be canceled, it ultimately decreases our funding.”
The LCFF would be provide a simpler formula for allocating money that would not decrease funding to any school district but would not include categorical funds, or money given to programs that are not covered under the general fund. The lack of categorical funds will negatively impact some schools but the LCFF will benefit others.
“There’s a lot of inequality now in the way revenue limits or base funding goes out and to complicate that there’s a lot of inequality in how categorical funds go out,” said Liz Guillen, director of legislative and community affairs at Public Advocates, Inc., a non profit law firm and advocacy organization.
Guillen believes the LCFF will help local communities have more say in how funding is spent and even the playing field among districts.
“It’s about eliminating advantages that some districts have over others to make base funding the same then adding a supplemental on top of that,” Guillen said.
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Pinsker said the Hart District would feel the full impact in three years and students would see the same programs available for the next two.
“It does not mean programs that were previously supported by categorical funds will be cut,” Pinsker said. “We will have to get more creative, we have pretty much cut to the bone already without taking away programs from the classrooms since that’s the last things we want to cut.”
Pinsker added that the Hart District has joined the School Finance Reform Coalition in advocating against the LCFF by sending letters to Brown and legislators.
“I think the Hart District and high performing school districts in more affluent areas will become the losers in this funding formula,” she said.
But Guillen thinks that the end result will benefit California as a whole.
“Some feel they will not benefit (from) it, but they are not looking at the rest of the state as a whole, they are only looking at their districts,” Guillen said. “Education is in the constitution for a reason. It is a right that benefits the whole state (which) will benefit when limited resources are shared fairly and used most efficiently by providing students that have the greatest needs enough.”
Regarding whether the LCFF’s would benefit the state as a whole, Pinsker said “I do not have an answer to that, that has not been discussed.”
Brown wants to pass the LCFF before the new fiscal year July 1.
Article Source: Santa Clarita News
Source: Santa Clarita News