ACLU and Civil Rights Coalition Weigh In on New Education Funding Formula
(Los Angeles)—A broad coalition of education and civil rights organizations, including the ACLU of California, are sending a letter today to all California county and district superintendents and charter school administrators urging immediate action to direct additional resources to the state’s neediest children.
On July 1st, Governor Brown signed the most significant school funding legislation in a generation, called the Local Control Funding Formula. The LCFF completely overhauls California’s finance system for K-12 schools and is designed to more equitably distribute funds to better meet the educational needs of low-income students, English Learners and foster youth. Framed by the governor in his State of the State address in January as a matter of justice, the enactment of the LCFF has been touted by the governor and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan as “revolutionary.”
The first test of the LCFF and the increased discretion given to local school officials will be how administrators and governing boards choose to allocate resources when finalizing their 2013-14 budgets over the next few weeks. Citing this fact, the coalition letter highlights provisions in the new law that require increased or improved services for disadvantaged students and detailed implementation plans. The State Board of Education is in the process of adopting regulations to implement these requirements, but the coalition believes the promise of the LCFF cannot be delayed. The letter urges local officials to take specific steps to ensure the transition to the LCFF is successful and students receive additional support this year.
Coalition members will be monitoring local budget actions and continuing to participate in local and state discussions regarding the LCFF and how to improve educational outcomes for all children in California.