Last week the California Governor Jerry Brown released the funding projections for school districts and charter schools under his new Local Control Funding Formula. The much anticipated numbers from the Department of Finance have districts throughout the state positioning themselves for a bruising battle over winners and losers. All districts would see an increase in funding or continued funding at their current levels but many urban districts and some rural districts would see a jump in funding due to their student populations. However, this jump in funding would not appear for many suburban school districts. Their funding would be stagnant or a little better under the best case scenario. For all districts and charter schools the proposal increases funding by $2,700 per student over the first five years of its implementation. Supplemental funding would be provided for disadvantaged students that could equal as much as 35% of the base funding. For districts with 50% or greater disadvantaged students the state would provide an additional concentration grant equal to 35% of their base funding for each English Language Learner and disadvantaged student over the 50% threshold. So undoubtedly the fight will be over how you define a disadvantaged student and what do you do for suburban districts that do not serve this student population. For charter schools, the Governor’s proposal wipes out the funding disparity that the Legislative Analyst’s Office identified last year. There are still charter school funding issues but this proposal is a huge step in the right direction.
To view the Department of Finance’s funding projections go to: http://www.dof.ca.gov and hit the link for the Local Control Funding Formula.