Gov. Jerry Brown's Local Control Funding Formula for school districts helps some more than others

9:09 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Gov. Jerry Brown's Local Control Funding Formula for California's schools would benefit some school districts more than others.

The concept of directing more money to impoverished students is a popular one, but the proposed execution is another story.

Under Brown's plan, the San Juan Unified School District would ultimately get less money per student than it would under the current system, and that has a lot of folks there concerned.

"The idea itself is a good idea, but the way they're structuring it is not good," San Juan parent Wade Casey said.

If Casey's little boy, a first grader at Del Paso Manor Elementary, is still in the San Juan Unified School District, then seven years from now, he and his classmates will be getting $577 less per student under Brown's plan than they would under the current system's projections.

"It's not fair to the students just because of the districting, the way they want to go over the money that's in the area and things like that," Casey said. "It doesn't work out for the students. It's just completely unfair."

"If the district is going to get less, then that means you're taking money away from the kids, which means that you're going to cut programs that are beneficial to kids," Kathleen Siedlecki said.

San Juan Unified spokesperson Trent Allen warns any approach that categorizes entire school districts as "rich" or "poor" is overly simplistic and potentially harmful to many students.

"You could have a high school that's serving 90 percent low socio-economic students in our district. You could have a high school in another neighboring district that's serving 9o percent low socio-economic students. This district over here would qualify for that additional funding. Our school wouldn't," Allen explained.

Allen said that's because some districts have a wide range of students, which is why he'd like to see local control get even more local.

"Go down to that level where you're actually impacting the students who need the help," Allen said.

Asked if that would mean school to school, "Absolutely," Allen responded.

On Tuesday night, the San Juan school board passed a resolution endorsing much of the spirit of the Local Control Funding Formula, but it asked to ensure that all students receive equal learning opportunities.


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