California Educator

September 2013

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Advocacy Legislative School Funding Just Got Local Prop. 30 and new state budget bring historic change to school funding. BY FRANK WELLS open, CTA members and California school districts find themselves working under a very different school funding plan. Gov. Jerry Brown's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), approved in the adopted 2013-14 state budget, is the largest school funding shift in California history, dramatically changing the way revenue to school districts is calculated and the degree of autonomy local school districts have over those funds. Using new revenues generated by CTA-backed Proposition 30, Gov. Brown and legislative leaders reached a budget agreement that, for the first time in six years, doesn't cut funding for schools and colleges. In fact, the LCFF adds $2.1 billion for the 2013-14 school year, and when fully implemented at the end of eight years the LCFF will increase California's education spending by more than $25 billion. Included in the budget is $1.2 billion for the implementation of Common Core State Standards, which will dramatically impact teaching for years to come. "The Local Control Funding Formula is a validation of what we've always known," says CTA President Dean E. Vogel. "It takes additional resources to educate English learners and economically disadvantaged students." The philosophy behind the new funding mechanism reflects values CTA has long championed — that struggling schools and students need additional resources. CTA's own successful reform AS SCHOOL DOORS "Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice," says Gov. Jerry Brown, shown here signing the state budget containing the Local Control Funding Formula. Brown's reasoning behind his new funding formula is to provide school districts with supplemental funding to cope with the "real-world problems they face." program, the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA), has been proof that allocating extra funding to the schools that need it most makes a real difference (see page 32). CTA was a major presence during budget negotiations where the details of the new formula were formalized. CTA's newly appointed executive director, Joe Nuñez, oversaw CTA's Governmental Relations efforts throughout the state budget adoption process. "For years we've wanted to see school funding better address the needs of disadvantaged students and allow local decision makers, including teachers, more control over how funds are used," he says. "We were cautiously optimistic when the concept was proposed in January, but it was important to make sure lawmakers got the details right." Passage of Proposition 30 last fall and a gradually recovering economy generated the revenues needed for the funding shift. Replacing complicated formulas that date back to the 1970s, the new plan does away with most categorical funding. School dis- Why the shift to local control budgeting? Simplifying school funding We spoke with Ana Matosantos, the director of the California Department of Finance. Here are her answers to your questions. 36 Educator 09 Sep 2013 v3.6 int.indd 36 Over the past 40 years, California's school finance system became complex and costly to administer, and created an inequitable funding structure. Recognizing that districts throughout the state have unique needs, the Local Control Funding Formula strengthens the ability of local control communities to ensure their students can be successful. What does this landmark shift in school funding mean for California's students and educators? The historic shift to the Local Control Funding Formula ensures that our educational system supports equal opportunity for all California students. While districts across the state will see their funding increase under the formula, those districts serving students with the great- S E P T E M B E R 2013 9/3/13 2:26 PM

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