With the deadline to pass a state budget approaching on June 15, Santa Clarita Valley education officials are encouraging the governor to change the Local Control Funding Formula for California schools.
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Schools would receive a base rate per student, in addition to grants depending on the number of students needing special services, the number of students in grades K-3, high school students and a district’s numbers for low-income and ESL students, according to the current plan.
The Newhall and William S. Hart Union High school districts have joined the California School Finance Reform Coalition, representing districts that include more than 450,000 students. The coalition supports the state Senate’s reform to the governor’s funding formula.
The Senate’s proposal eliminates the concentration grant and awards extra money per student needing special services, said Marc Winger, Newhall district superintendent.
“We support the governor’s concept of this Local Control Funding Formula, meaning that English-language learners and children who live in poverty do cost us more to educate, should get funding to support our efforts with them,” Winger said. “Where we differ from the governor is in how that formula is coming together. We support a formula that would first restore our base, all the cuts we’ve been experiencing, and then next allocate the money by child.”
The current proposal would allocate more money for schools in districts like the Los Angeles Unified and Santa Ana Unified school districts, but Santa Clarita Valley schools would not receive as much because they do not have a concentrated population of low-income and ESL students, Winger said.
LAUSD officials said that they support the governor’s formula, but could not be reached for further comment.
The Local Control Funding Formula needs to be amended to increase the base grant for all school districts, according to the Reform Coalition. A press release from the Coalition said that the governor’s forumla:
Doesn’t fulfill the promise made to voters who passed Proposition 30 on the belief that all schools would see funding restored. Sixty-five percent of the school districts located within the 23 counties that voted Yes on Prop 30 will receive less money under the new formula than they would receive if the current school funding formula were fully restored.
Will treat 1 million students of equal need, unequally. A disadvantaged student in a school district that is not fully restored will miss out on an average of $1,300 per year of additional support and services, compared to an equally disadvantaged student in other districts.
“The governor’s proposing to do it by district and that means that the large urban district would be getting an unfair proportion compared to suburban districts,” Winger said. “And so we support the Senate’s version of the local control funding formula. And at the minute, the Senate and the Assembly and the governor are all sitting in Sacramento trying to figure out what this formula should be, so we want to try and influence that process.”
For more information about the coalition, call 559-327-9110. Click here for a summary of the governor’s proposal.
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Source: Santa Clarita News