It's time for equality in education funding!
Jun 11, 2013 | 1277 views | 0 0 comments | 135 135 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

It’s time for equity in education funding! More than one in five children in California live in poverty, and nearly half of all K–12 students participate in the federal free and reduced-price meal programs provided to students from low-income families.

In addition, nearly one quarter of California’s K–12 students are English learners.

California Standards Test results show that students from low-income backgrounds and English learners have lower test scores, lower graduation rates, and are the least eligible for college admissions, revealing a great achievement gap between students based on income level and English proficiency.

Low-income students and English learners, whose needs have been unmet for decades, need more support and resources to close that gap.

Gov. Brown has proposed a new education finance system called Local Control Funding Formula in his 2013-14 Budget Proposal. LCFF will give every school district a base fund of $6,800 per student starting in 2019-2020. It will also give every school district a supplemental grant equal to 35 percent of the base fund for each English language learner, low -income student and foster care youth. In addition, it will provide concentration grants, which will benefit school districts in which at least half of students are English learners, low-income or foster care youth. The supplemental and concentration grant money must go toward helping the students who generate the funds.

This can drastically change statewide achievement gaps and benefit Patterson Joint Unified School District, which has a 65 percent Free and Reduced Lunch population and a 31 percent English learner Population.

According to Fairshare4kids.org, PJUSD received $6,094 per student in 2011-2012. If LCFF passes this year, PJUSD will receive $6,454 per student in 2013-2014, $7,000 in 2014-2015 and $10,858 upon full implementation in 2019-2020.

LCFF will increase funding for all California school districts, provide equity by offering more funding for the state’s neediest students and give school districts flexibility to determine how best to use that money for their students.

The time to approve LCFF is now. Contact your legislators, as they vote on the budget by June 15, and urge them to pass LCFF this year.

Sergio Cuellar, Statewide Campaign Director Californians for Justice, Sacramento
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