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Mid-City CAN Blog

Event highlights school-funding change

A change in how California funds schools means that school districts that need funding the most will get more money. And more than 40 categories to determine school funding are being slimmed down to just three.

The State Legislature redesigned the funding formula so that parents and teachers will have more influence on how the money is spent. Parents and local leaders will also be able to hold school districts accountable for how they spend it.

This funding change “shifts the focus from funding dozens of state-mandated programs to funding based on local district control and student needs,” said San Diego Unified Supt. Cindy Marten.

In City Heights, some of the first steps in the community accountability and input process will begin at a town hall meeting hosted by The California Endowment about the funding changes.

“The new law was approved quickly and we want to make sure everyone is aware of the huge opportunity it brings to improve schools in City Heights and in every California community,” said Mary Lou Fulton, a senior program manager at The California Endowment. “A primary focus of the law is to help close the achievement gap by increasing funding to school districts that serve students with the greatest needs.”

The Endowment’s forum, called School Success Express, is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Cherokee Point Elementary School, 3735 38th St.

“The forum is a chance to everyone to share their ideas for what schools can to do help more students succeed,” she said. “As a health foundation, we know that students who are healthy in mind and body do better in school, and we encourage schools to invest more in health as a strategy for academic achievement.”

At the event, residents will get background about the funding changes, including how the new formula recognizes that students with additional learning needs cost more to educate. Districts with large percentages of low-income and English-learner students will see the biggest gains, but every district should receive at least as much funding as it did pre-recession. State revenue will determine how much funding increases each year until it reaches its targets.

The Endowment’s Dr. Tony Iton called this funding change the “biggest health-equity initiative in years.”

Schools are transitioning to three criteria for funding: First, each district gets $6,345 to 8,289 for each student, depending on grade level. Second, districts will receive an additional 20 percent for each of their students who are either low-income, English learners, or in foster care. Districts also will receive an additional grant if more than 55 percent of their students are in the second category. It is an additional 50 percent of funding for each student above the 55 percent threshold.

It may sound complicated, but California is transitioning from a system that had more than 40 funding categories for schools. Some of the categories were so out of date that they varied based on whether an area was mostly agricultural in the 1970s, when the legislature created it.

Dawit Bakele checks out the School Success Express during part of its tour in L.A. The bus should be at Cherokee Point Elementary in City Heights Nov. 9. | Bobby Lee Powell, Video Coordinator for Sac BHC Youth media team

Dawit Bakele checks out the School Success Express during part of its tour in L.A. On Nov. 9, the bus should be at Cherokee Point Elementary in City Heights. | Bobby Lee Powell, Video Coordinator for Sac BHC Youth media team


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The Mid-City Community Advocacy Network's mission is to create a safe, productive,Quotation (Right)
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