CA School News Report

Local Control Funding Formula: Voices

“I’m signing a bill that is truly revolutionary. It cuts a major amount of bureaucracy, mandates and complications that have driven up the amount of funding we spend on non-teachers to deal with all of the complex laws. We simplified those laws.”

“We have, under this bill I’m signing today, great discretion to local school districts. We’re bringing government closer to the people, closer to the classroom, where real decisions are made. Secondly, we’re distributing a significant amount of the new money based on how many kids do not speak English at home, how many kids are in families in poverty, or in foster care.”

“So we put in a very simple formula that says put the money where the need and the challenge is greatest. That’s what this new formula for education does.”

Governor Jerry Brown

July 1, 2013

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“The old system of financing was really an historical accretion going back to the 1960s. It had no underlying rational. It did not adjust for different pupil needs. It was convoluted and almost impossible to understand. And it relied on lots of state earmarks telling schools to spend money on librarians or school gardens or remedial reading teachers heavily dictated from Sacramento. And we had 41 of these categorical programs, which consumed about a third of the budget.

“So the change we made was really throw all that out and to start over.”

“The law requires a lot of community and parental participation.

“We’ve really changed public participation. And the conversation’s much more about how the resources will improve pupil outcomes. The old system told you how to spend the money, but didn’t hold you for what you were trying to do with it as explicitly.”

Michael Kirst, president, State Board of Education

KQED interview, Aug. 15, 2014