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Fremont High School in Los Angeles is one of the schools named in Cruz v. California

State finance officials last week granted the California Department of Education $3.4 million to fight a lawsuit that demands the state fix disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education.

The lawsuit claims that some students are enrolled in multiple classes during which they receive no instruction, that some spend hours in security lockdowns, and that teachers and students are reeling from the trauma of violent shootings around campuses.

The Department of Education will hire outside lawyers at $450 an hour to defend itself against the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Jessy Cruz, a student at Fremont High School in Los Angeles, and more than a dozen other students at eight schools in four unified school districts: Los Angeles, Compton, Oakland and West Contra Costa.

The suit, Cruz v. California, pits the state constitutional guarantee of equal educational opportunity against local school district control over how to spend state funds, which is the foundation of the new school finance reforms known as the Local Control Funding Formula.

The case is at least the third lawsuit in which the state has argued it is not required to intervene in districts to ensure equal educational opportunity. In two previous major cases, the state lost, either in court or in a settlement agreement.

“As a legal matter, my view is the state is on pretty thin ice by saying it isn’t their responsibility,” said William Koski, a Stanford Law School professor.

“As a legal matter, my view is the state is on pretty thin ice by saying it isn’t their responsibility,” said William Koski, a professor of law and education at Stanford Law School.

Margaret Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, said, “It’s a weak argument for them to say it is only the district’s responsibility and not the role of the state.”

In Butt v. California, brought by parent Thomas Butt in the Richmond Unified School District, the California Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that “the State itself is responsible for the ‘fundamental’ educational rights of California students and must remedy a local district’s inability to provide its students an education ‘basically equivalent’ to that provided elsewhere in the State.”

In a landmark 2004 settlement agreement in Williams v. California, brought on behalf of San Francisco student Eliezer Williams, the state was held responsible for ensuring, through a monitoring system, that all students have textbooks, qualified teachers and safe facilities – buildings without leaks or rodents.

“It’s the Williams case all over again,” Bernard James, a law professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, said of Cruz v. California. “The broad outlines of both cases are on the topic of an equal opportunity to learn.”

The California Department of Education said this week it could not comment on the litigation, but in statements and legal briefs, the department has expressed its belief that local solutions, not state interventions, are required.

“We believe continuing to implement California’s Local Control Funding Formula – rather than shifting authority to Sacramento – is the best way to improve student achievement and meet the needs of our schools,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst in a statement when Cruz v. California was filed in May. “We will resist any effort to derail this important initiative through costly and unnecessary litigation.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, pro bono law firm Public Counsel and the law firms Carlton Fields Jorden Burt and Arnold & Porter filed the suit on behalf of the students.

In a Dec. 9 letter to legislative leaders, the California Department of Finance stated that it had approved a request from the Department of Education for $3,375,000 to be paid in this current fiscal year to hire outside lawyers for the Cruz case. The California attorney general, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education agreed the expense was necessary, according to the Department of Finance letter.

“I didn’t think you’d have to go to court in 2014 to argue that students need to go to schools where they have courses that have content,” said Mark Rosenbaum, an attorney at Public Counsel. “The state’s position, and I’m not exaggerating, is ‘We have no duty.'”

Cruz v. California alleges that the students named in the complaint have been denied significant amounts of state-mandated instructional time at eight schools: Thomas Jefferson High School, John C. Fremont High School and Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School in Los Angeles; Castlemont High School and Fremont High School in Oakland; Franklin S. Whaley Middle School and Compton High School in Compton; and Nystrom Elementary School in West Contra Costa.

The lawsuit states that at the high schools named, instead of attending classes to meet graduation and college entrance requirements, the students are assigned to many periods of “home,” “service” or “library” classes that have no academic instruction. During those periods, students are going home, walking around campus or photocopying papers for teachers, according to the complaint. The suit claims a lack of available, qualified teachers and a shortage of course offerings at the schools are to blame.

Other causes of lost instructional time, the suit alleges, include violent incidents. In one case in April 2013, bullets were shot through the front door of Oakland’s Castlemont High School and into the main hallway, where students were walking.

Teachers quitting their jobs mid-year also interferes with instruction. The lawsuit cites the example of a teacher at Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond who was so overwhelmed by the lack of resources and support that she called 911 from her classroom during the school day “to report she was a danger to herself.” Police escorted her from the classroom. A teacher with no prior teaching experience was hired to replace her, the suit said.

The situations causing students to miss out on curriculum and academic engagement are known to the California Department of Education but “hidden from view for the majority of the public, who would be aghast were even some of these conditions to take place in their children’s schools,” the lawsuit alleges.

As part of the case, Alameda County Superior Court Judge George Hernandez Jr. issued a temporary restraining order in October instructing the California Department of Education to intervene at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, where some students had spent eight weeks in classes without instruction. Hernandez said the situation was causing “severe and pervasive educational deprivations.”

In a legal brief filed in opposition to the request for the temporary restraining order, Robin Johansen, an attorney with Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, which is representing the Department of Education, acknowledged that the alleged problems at Jefferson High warranted a response but “that response and appropriate remedies, however, should come at the school site and school-district level.”

David Sapp, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, noted that the state, under Gov. Gray Davis, spent four years fighting the Williams case at a cost of $22 million in outside attorney fees. Additionally, the state had to pay $20 million in fees for the opposition attorneys as part of the settlement.

Now in the Cruz case, Sapp said, “They are choosing to spend discretionary money to fight this lawsuit instead of doing what’s right.”


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  1. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Dawn: thank you for providing this legal review paper. I cited a few passages below and will add some commentary after each. Review paper - "In Rodriguez, the state “assure[d]” the Court that it provided “‘every child in every school district an adequate education,’” and “[n]o proof was offered at trial persuasively discrediting or refuting the State’s assertion.”156 Accordingly, the Court held that “[e]ven if it were conceded that some identifiable quantum of education is a constitutionally protected prerequisite … Read More

    Dawn: thank you for providing this legal review paper. I cited a few passages below and will add some commentary after each.

    Review paper – “In Rodriguez, the state “assure[d]” the Court that it provided “‘every
    child in every school district an adequate education,’” and “[n]o proof
    was offered at trial persuasively discrediting or refuting the State’s assertion.”156
    Accordingly, the Court held that “[e]ven if it were conceded
    that some identifiable quantum of education is a
    constitutionally protected prerequisite to the meaningful exercise of
    either [the] right [to speak or vote], we have no indication that the present levels of educational expenditures in Texas provide an education
    that falls short.”

    Don – The enigma of an “identifiable quantum” looms large in LCFF. What is it? Test scores? Socio-economic status? At present California defines that quantum as the statistical relationship between low academic performance and students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch, ELLs and foster. There are at least two problems with this definition. 1. Many students outside of the three groups are also low-performing and are, therefore, treated unequally by the formula and are a suspect class, and 2. the portion of students who are not low-performing, if given less resources in their redirection , may become low-performing if in fact resources and performance are related.

    In addition, there’s constitutional law precedent to establish equal funding among districts, but is there precedent to provide unequal funding as is the case with LCFF?

    If about 50% of California public school students are proficient does that equate to adequacy for the 50% and, as such, inadequacy for the rest? Is adequacy based upon test scores of proficient and above or is it a function of socioeconmic standing? If its the latter than basically Calfornia is saying that anyone who is poor and/or does not speak English should receive more educational resources than those that don’t. I cannot imagine how the Court, which does not recognize the constitutional right to an education but only that said education be equal, could find LCFF’s formula as constitutional.

    Review paper “….one of the ironies of the Rodriguez language quoted
    above is that by the time the case reached the Supreme Court, the San
    Antonio School District had been dismissed as a defendant and actually
    filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs-appellees, advocating
    against local control.Their brief argued:
    Education is a fundamental interest in every sense of the
    words.
    . . . .
    While a reasonable measure of local controls of schools is
    desirable, the present statutory financing system should not
    be justified in the name of local control. The state imposed
    system which necessarily results in wide variations in expenditures
    for education should be subordinate to the goal of
    providing equal educational opportunity for all.

    Don- “Reasonable control” seems to be the operative word here. At present, LCFF’s reasonable control is deemed reasonable by the LCAP. Yet, there is actually no formal verification process of LCPP integrity. Certainly only the most exceptional county board has the inclination or resources to monitor whether the LCAP language (it is after all only a kind of mission statement) is in fact part and parcel of district policy, for without such follow-through the LCAP is a meaningless document and, therefore, a waste of public funding.

    We define “opportunity” as the level of resources needed to achieve proficiency. But there’s very little documentation to tether public policy and tens of billions in public funds to the construct that more money equates to more opportunity. At best it provides additional resources but without any clear historical precedent for greater achievement, particularly since, with local control, every district is on its own to make the case on which LCFF is based – more money means more achievement.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      And just to follow up on the last sentence of my previous post, LCFF doesn't guarantee that each individual in anyone of the three unduplicated groups be served, only that districts get additional funding for students counted as members of those groups. So districts can get additional funding based upon the count, yet not provide that funding to the targeted group. It is a system of funding that has no financial accountability of … Read More

      And just to follow up on the last sentence of my previous post, LCFF doesn’t guarantee that each individual in anyone of the three unduplicated groups be served, only that districts get additional funding for students counted as members of those groups. So districts can get additional funding based upon the count, yet not provide that funding to the targeted group. It is a system of funding that has no financial accountability of legal consequence. LCFF oversight has been described as “the fox guarding the henhouse”. And given that there is no state compliance agency I don’t see how it could be otherwise. The Collaborative for Educational Excellence hasn’t even met and they don’t have the resources to monitor, nor are they charged to do so. To the extent that the LCAP is unmonitored, the State is washing its hands of oversight. That is local control, LCFF-style.

  2. Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      Don - Thank you for taking the time to read this paper. If you finish the entire paper- it contains an interesting irony. The paper goes through the history of education funding. How Individual states included the Free School guarantee in their constitutions to prevent the whims of legislators from raiding funds meant for education, for other purposes. The history also goes through the process of changing from Locally Controlled Districts (City County Property Taxes to fund education)... To … Read More

      Don –

      Thank you for taking the time to read this paper.

      If you finish the entire paper- it contains an interesting irony.

      The paper goes through the history of education funding. How Individual states included the Free School guarantee in their constitutions to prevent the whims of legislators from raiding funds meant for education, for other purposes.

      The history also goes through the process of changing from Locally Controlled Districts (City County Property Taxes to fund education)…

      To a State controlled funding system where local tax dollars go up to the State and are redistributed to make funding more “equal”….

      To what we have now… not “Local Control”, but “Federal Control”. Once a State has voluntarily adopted the Common Core in exchange for funds and/or waivers from no child left behind we have agreed to a Federal minimum standard for education. So it would be my view that the Federal courts would now be the proper courts to decide “funding adequacy”.

      I think that having the Federal Courts review California’s new funding law would be a great thing for California students.

      I wrote the author and asked for his opinion and help in filing such a suit. I will let you know if I receive a response.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Dawn, I don't think you can say that we have federal control to the US Supreme Court. CCSS was adopted voluntarily by each state and is not federally mandated, despite the federal government's involvement in the way it was "encouraged". CCSS is an informal national standard, but it was arranged this way for the very reason that a true national standard would raise serious Constitutional questions. Right now, if a state doesn't like … Read More

        Dawn, I don’t think you can say that we have federal control to the US Supreme Court. CCSS was adopted voluntarily by each state and is not federally mandated, despite the federal government’s involvement in the way it was “encouraged”. CCSS is an informal national standard, but it was arranged this way for the very reason that a true national standard would raise serious Constitutional questions. Right now, if a state doesn’t like it they can drop out without any loss of federal funding.

        The real problem is lack of funding. We cannot tax California to overcome the costs of triple the national average of those qualified for FRPL or the cost of ELLs. Should the state government radically curtail heath and welfare benefits to the poor so we can increase dollars to K12 education? The paradox of taking food out of the mouths of children so we can educate them is what you are arguing.

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          It sounds harsh to say that we need to take the food out of children's mouths to educate them. However, at some point you have to stop importing children to feed and educate. In the 1800's the people recognized the need to protect Education funds from the whims of legislators - "The final lesson from the history of education reform in the states, particularly from the recent period of judicially supervised enforcement, is that constitutional … Read More

          It sounds harsh to say that we need to take the food out of children’s mouths to educate them. However, at some point you have to stop importing children to feed and educate.

          In the 1800’s the people recognized the need to protect Education funds from the whims of legislators –

          “The final lesson from the history of education reform in the states, particularly from the recent period of judicially supervised enforcement, is that constitutional enshrinement of the right has served to safeguard it from shifts in economic currents….

          Enshrinement has always been part of the state level education story. When delegates to Kentucky’s constitutional convention in 1849 amended the constitution to establish that the state school fund would be “held inviolate,” they were consciously pursuing a strategy to protect the fund from the whims of the elected branches.
          The Kentucky legislature had been notorious for “borrowing” from the school fund to finance various projects, with one such episode occurring in 1845. Education supporters thus lobbied delegates to the 1849 convention to protect the education fund from the legislature’s games, and their efforts paid off. On the convention floor, delegates spoke of the need “to rescue from the vacillation of the legislation of the state, the common school fund” and warned of the foolishness of trusting the legislature with so precious a pool of money.The delegates ended up ratifying a constitutional amendment that contained specific commands on the management, investment, and disbursement of the school fund, ensuring it would be safeguarded from shifting political and economic winds.

          http://www.gwlr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/friedman_solow_81_1.pdf at page 154

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          At some point you run out of other people's money. The current state of education, both in California and across the nation is poor because our elected representatives choose to spend money on things other than education. Things they are not constitutionally obligated to pay for. As harsh as it may be - it is time to force the Legislators to fulfill their constitutional obligation to our Nation's students and then look for additional … Read More

          At some point you run out of other people’s money. The current state of education, both in California and across the nation is poor because our elected representatives choose to spend money on things other than education. Things they are not constitutionally obligated to pay for.

          As harsh as it may be – it is time to force the Legislators to fulfill their constitutional obligation to our Nation’s students and then look for additional funding to provide entitlements and services to people who are not legal residents of this nation.

          As a taxpayer- I am not obligated to feed, cloth or educate the worlds poor. We should first take care of the legal residents of our State and Nation. If this is not done- the end result will be a nation of uneducated poor people.

          Does anyone find it odd that students who are here illegally are now entitled to Government grants and scholarships and in state tuition while families of military must pay out of State Tuition? When you open taxpayer funds to people who are not legally in this country you are depriving a legal resident of those opportunities. It is a zero sum game. I don’t know of any other Country in this world, who puts the rights and privileges of others before their own.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            Dawn: I'm entirely in agreement with you. I was playing devil's advocate. I could understand some leeway when it comes to providing basic health and welfare to our own state residents. But this is beyond crazy. The constitutional obligation to residents for education has become a lower priority than rights and services afforded to people who broke the law and entered the country illegally.. We are undermining the very fabric of the nation and … Read More

            Dawn: I’m entirely in agreement with you. I was playing devil’s advocate. I could understand some leeway when it comes to providing basic health and welfare to our own state residents. But this is beyond crazy. The constitutional obligation to residents for education has become a lower priority than rights and services afforded to people who broke the law and entered the country illegally.. We are undermining the very fabric of the nation and the state through these actions. I can empathize with those that seek a better life in America, especially so since our nation was built on this principle. But that was lawful immigration. And here we have Obama just handing over untold billions and privileges while the law abiding visa applicants wait in line for years. It is disgrace.

            The CA Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

            • Dawn urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              I believe that it is the Constitution that will save us. We need to sue in Federal Court – things have changed and I do believe that the Court will find a Fed right to a minimum adequate education and will force CA to provide more funding to students – kinda like the prison deal.

  3. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    In my opinion - I do not believe that the State can relieve itself of its Constitutional obligation to adequately fund a basic education for every student simply by passing the responsibility down to the local level. Especially when the tax revenue is not passed down to the local level. Jerry Brown is keeping all the revenue at the State level and passing the responsibility down to the local level- look at Prison re-alignment. Has … Read More

    In my opinion – I do not believe that the State can relieve itself of its Constitutional obligation to adequately fund a basic education for every student simply by passing the responsibility down to the local level. Especially when the tax revenue is not passed down to the local level.

    Jerry Brown is keeping all the revenue at the State level and passing the responsibility down to the local level- look at Prison re-alignment. Has the State laid off any prison guards and reduced expenses since they no longer have as many prisoners? No. Has the State given Counties and City’s the amount of money they need to take care of all the prisoners that they have received in the re-alignment? No.

    The law suit that needs to be filed is a Federal Law suit. Unless the State increases the Base Grant to an amount that is sufficient to provide EVERY student with an adequate education then the LCFF is unconstitutional. It distributes funding based solely on wealth, race and ethnicity and deprives any student who lives in a District with less than 55% poor/ELL of a basic education irrespective of the individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. The law is not rational because it does not do what it is suppose to. It does not provide a basic education to every student and then provide “extra” funding to the poor or English Language Learner. As proof the poor and ELL in my District are not receiving any additional funding ($273 per student above the base)

    If the State wants to return responsibilities to the local level then the tax money must also be returned to the Local level.

    Replies

    • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn, in federal court you run into the problem that the US Supreme Court has ruled that the federal constitution confers no right to education, let alone the right to a quality education. This was the holding in the 1973 Supreme Court case, San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist. vs. Rodriguez. This stands in contrast to the federal intervention in California's state prison system over the quality of inmate healthcare. Federal receivership … Read More

      Dawn, in federal court you run into the problem that the US Supreme Court has ruled that the federal constitution confers no right to education, let alone the right to a quality education. This was the holding in the 1973 Supreme Court case, San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist. vs. Rodriguez.

      This stands in contrast to the federal intervention in California’s state prison system over the quality of inmate healthcare. Federal receivership over prison healthcare in California resulted in 2005-6 because it was determined that inmate healthcare was so lacking in quality that it violated the 8th Amendment of the federal constitution.

      Though the federal constitution does not provide the right to an education or an education of any particular quality, it does prohibit certain discrimination and requires equal protection. And every state constitution, including CA, has an education clause which requires free public education be provided by the state. Unfortunately, the constitutions don’t necessarily require that the education be of any particular quality. It just can’t be too “unequal” in application under the equal protection clauses and cases like the Serrano vs. Priest cases. Universally bad education is just fine in California under the precedents so far, as long as nobody’s is too good.

      When even the best CA high schools and their teachers are unfairly stressed to the limits with the nations worst credentialed staffing ratios, double the national average of students per teacher, it is easy to see how things can break down completely in troubled schools such as those in the new lawsuit.

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Why is everything based on what people wrote hundreds of years ago? In a Democracy, why not add amendments and base this on what we as a modern society determine is just and right?

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          Andrew- I disagree with your reading of Rodriquez. Read the opinion again and read from the perspective of what the court said WOULD be cause for the Supreme Court to view an individual State's funding law as unconstitutional. They defined three things which would have made the ruling in Rodriquez different. I will try to make a quick overview and then re-read and let me know if you see what I am seeing. Read it … Read More

          Andrew-

          I disagree with your reading of Rodriquez. Read the opinion again and read from the perspective of what the court said WOULD be cause for the Supreme Court to view an individual State’s funding law as unconstitutional. They defined three things which would have made the ruling in Rodriquez different. I will try to make a quick overview and then re-read and let me know if you see what I am seeing. Read it backwards and keep this fact in mind:

          The Federal Government has a Substantial Interest in Student Outcomes in California. California education is critical to the entire nation’s future because more than one in eight public school students in the U.S. attends school in California. If California fails at Educating its students- the nation fails.

          The Issue that must be decided:

          Does California’s new Education Funding System (LCFF Law) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution because it discriminates against students based on wealth, race and ethnicity? The answer – as a matter of law must be yes as long as the Base Grant is set so low that the Base Grant alone is insufficient to provide a basic education to EVERY student in the state of California.

          Equal Protection

          The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every citizen equal protection under the law and gives Federal Courts jurisdiction to review State laws that discriminate against an individual because of wealth, race or ethnicity using strict judicial scrutiny.

          San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez

          The landmark Supreme Court Case San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez, defined when it would be appropriate for a Federal Court to review an individual State’s Education Funding System to determine the constitutionality of that system.

          Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/411/1/

          #1) In Rodriguez the Court specifically stated a law would be determined to Discriminate on the basis of wealth if ALL students who, irrespective of their personal incomes, received inadequate funding simply because of where they lived. That is my District. Every student in my District is being deprived an adequate education especially the poor and ELL.

          In Rodriquez the Court determined that the Texas System was constitutional because the System provided adequate funding for every student in Texas to receive a basic education (that is a key statement) and then allowed local districts to have control over taxation to increase funding above the base. The Court also made note of the fact that funding for all student’s in Texas was within $100 of each other and on that basis the Court ruled that the Texas system did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

          California’s LCFF law does not do that. The law intentionally underfunds Districts with low percentages of ELL and Poor and deprives every student in the District (ELL and poor included) of a basic education. They all receive less simply because of where they happen to live and irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity. That is a violation of Equal Protection Clause under Rodriquez.

          If the stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a base level of funding that will provide every student with an adequate education, and then to provide additional funding to students who have high needs such as ELL and socioeconomically disadvantaged- the system fails to achieve that stated goal because the Base Grant is set so low. To be Constitutional under Rodriquez, the Base Grant needs to be increased to an amount that provides an Adequate Education for EVERY student.

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          2) A Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws in cases involving laws that interfere with the exercise of fundamental rights and liberties explicitly or implicitly protected by the Constitution. Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/411/1/ at Pp. 411 U. S. 18-44. Rodriquez Decision “In Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954), a unanimous Court recognized that "education is perhaps the most … Read More

          2) A Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws in cases involving laws that interfere with the exercise of fundamental rights and liberties explicitly or implicitly protected by the Constitution.

          Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/411/1/ at Pp. 411 U. S. 18-44.

          Rodriquez Decision “In Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954), a unanimous Court recognized that “education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.” Id. at 347 U. S. 493. What was said there in the context of racial discrimination has lost none of its vitality with the passage of time:

          Page 411 U. S. 30

          Rodriquez recognized that Education is one of the most important State functions and specifically stated that it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          #3) 3) A Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws to ensure that the law bears a rational relationship to a legitimate State Purpose. The formula creates inequities that are not rational and do not fulfill the State’s goal of providing an adequate education to every student. The stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a base level … Read More

          #3) 3) A Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws to ensure that the law bears a rational relationship to a legitimate State Purpose.

          The formula creates inequities that are not rational and do not fulfill the State’s goal of providing an adequate education to every student.

          The stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a base level of funding for every student (Base Grant) and then to provide additional funding to students who have high needs such as ELL and socioeconomically disadvantaged (Supplemental Grant and Concentration Grant). However the law does not achieve that result at all. The result is per pupil funding that varies from a low of $6,244 per student to a high of $177,829 per student. The LCFF intentionally underfunds wealthy suburban school districts which in effect deprives any student who happens to live in such a District of an adequate education irrespective of that students personal wealth or income. Does $273 per student provide the Capistrano Unified School District with the funding they need to address the needs of the English Language Learners and Poor in the District?

          The Court in Rodriguez found that while the Texas funding system was not perfect, the system provided a basic education for every child in the State.

          The Texas system also allowed and encouraged local control over how local tax dollars were to be spent.

          Pp. 411 U. S. 44-53

          Unlike the Texas system, California’s tax system is structured such that the California Legislature determines the amount of property taxes used to fund schools. Local school boards do not have authority to raise any revenue for district instructional programs; and as such, individual school districts do not in fact have “local control”. In the Texas System all District per pupil funding was within $100 of each other. The Texas system did provide a basic education to every student and then not only allowed, but encouraged local control for funding above the base.

          Despite it’s title- there is no real “local control” or the ability for Districts within the State of California to provide additional funding to their District without voting to tax themselves twice for the service that the State is already constitutionally obligated to provide.

          There is no way that a Federal Court would rule that California’s LCFF law was constitutional unless the Base Grant was increased to above $9,500 per student with additional money on top of that going to the poor and ELL.

          If you want to read my entire post – basis for a law suit, you can do so here

          http://disclosurecusd.blogspot.com/2014/11/re-research-brief-toward-grand-vision.html

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            But the goal of this lawsuit, or the impact if it succeeds, would be to give more funding to more privileged and white children. Lawsuits only succeed if they benefit a group which can claim victimhood, a liberal group or a group which is oppressed. I don't see how you can have a lawsuit for equality which increases funding for the traditional oppressive group. It's an oxymoron. The point of lawsuits … Read More

            But the goal of this lawsuit, or the impact if it succeeds, would be to give more funding to more privileged and white children. Lawsuits only succeed if they benefit a group which can claim victimhood, a liberal group or a group which is oppressed. I don’t see how you can have a lawsuit for equality which increases funding for the traditional oppressive group. It’s an oxymoron. The point of lawsuits is to increase liberalism and equality. It’s a contradiction. I don’t see a judge ruling this way. Vergara worked because it showed poor kids suffer due to seniority/tenure and the impossibility of firing bad teachers. Bad teachers can complain that there is a conspiracy of billionaires and the establishment to have autocratic principals randomly fire teachers unfairly or try to use firing to push wages down, so this lunatic conspiracy theory which would never in a million years happen is sufficient to defend against what is seen by the public as a more conservative/oppressive group. In a nutshell, they can use this scenario to claim liberal victimhood. However, almost everyone agrees that poor Latino and African American children, even if teachers are a group of liberal victims, are moreso a group of liberal, oppressed victims, thus the victory in the Vergara case. It’s similar to that Tom Wolfe novel. The more liberal / victim / oppressed subgroup is always going to win.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              ‘Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers’, by Tom Wolfe. We’re talking Federal Judges here. No judge is going to give a victory to white suburban privileged children over Latinos struggling with English or low income black or Latino kids. The whole point of a lawsuit is to push for more equality. This idea does the opposite.

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              Floyd you stated: "But the goal of this lawsuit, or the impact if it succeeds, would be to give more funding to more privileged and white children." The goal of this law suit would be to get adequate funding for EVERY student. Raising the Base Grant helps every student. You cannot say you want to help the poor and ELL when you only care about the poor and ELL who live in a concentrated area of poor … Read More

              Floyd you stated: “But the goal of this lawsuit, or the impact if it succeeds, would be to give more funding to more privileged and white children.”

              The goal of this law suit would be to get adequate funding for EVERY student. Raising the Base Grant helps every student.

              You cannot say you want to help the poor and ELL when you only care about the poor and ELL who live in a concentrated area of poor and ELL- because you are ignoring the poor and ELL in other places simply because of where they happen to live.

              That is irrational and is proof of how silly this new law is.

              Everything that has been discussed in this blog is true- we are all on the same page and understand that CA is 50th in the nation in Education funding because it chooses (important word) to spend tax money on other things.

              The State needs to be reminded that it is obligated to fund Education before it funds anything else. If the State would like to change the Constitution to reflect different priorities then it should do so. Until then- it should be forced to make decisions on what should be cut so that it can meet its obligation to our children and their future.

              If the State does not have the stomach to govern its self then the people need to seek help where they might find it.

              If you want to raise more revenue then find a way to do that without lying to the Public. Every tax increase is now “for the children” and when it is passed by the people- some how we never see the benefit of that money.

              No offense taken Andrew – I see no other way to change course in California – you painted a very real picture of where we are and I can promise you that the Pension mess will make it much worse. My District cannot pay the increased pension contributions without making further cuts to students services (non left to cut). I don’t think the ruling in Butte will allow the District to keep shorting the school year so ironically the only way the District will be able to balance it’s budget is to cut employee compensation. That will be interesting to watch. Will teachers be willing to cut their current salary to pay for their future pensions?

            • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

              I wish I could see some potential light at the end of the tunnel, Dawn. But a number of factors are converging that promise to make things worse rather than better. As Don astutely points out, another CA recession is pretty predictable given the past history of such cycles. The modest income tax increases and sales tax increases of Prop 30 end in 2018 and 2016 respectively. … Read More

              I wish I could see some potential light at the end of the tunnel, Dawn. But a number of factors are converging that promise to make things worse rather than better. As Don astutely points out, another CA recession is pretty predictable given the past history of such cycles. The modest income tax increases and sales tax increases of Prop 30 end in 2018 and 2016 respectively. California has 12% of the nation’s population and 34% of the nation’s welfare recipients, a heavy and increasing financial burden that pulls dollars away from education. Demographic and population trends suggest greater strains on teachers and an educational system that is already stressed to the limits. The system of California finance is a huge and complex mess where a lot of money is irrevocably dedicated to non-educational endeavors and non-educational special interests.

              Then there are the teacher issues looming. California can always find warm bodies to credential and stick in front of students in classrooms and to burn out. But where will the state find highly intelligent, highly motivated, and inspiring teacher candidates? Who would want to teach in California? Why accept double the student load of the national average per teacher? Why teach in a state and community where you could never buy and pay off a nice home on your salary schedule? Why accept the shoddy buildings and meager educational materials? And the fact that if you complain publicly about them, someone will propose to lower your salary to spend more on buildings and materials? Why teach in a state that is adding high need special education students to your overloaded classroom under the guise of inclusion and keeping disruptive and defiant students in the classroom? Who would want to teach in a state with the lowest educational funding per student? With lowest ratio of administrators, librarians, counselors, or psychologists? Is it really possible to find candidates smart enough to teach effectively and with inspiration who are dumb enough to teach in California? When they will be laid off, unemployed, and financially desperate as a result of LIFO when the next recession hits, or when Prob 30 runs out? When overall CA teacher morale is hitting new lows? And burnout due to all this always at most a step away?

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Dawn, I agree we should choose to spend much more on education and much less on bureaucracy, prisons, police (yes, crime is down 70% since we set our police forces at their current size) and welfare. Our environment is being damaged by so many people commuting from afar into Cities. Welfare should be unpleasant and temporary, there should be communities far from Cities where there is basic row housing and daily job training, … Read More

              Dawn, I agree we should choose to spend much more on education and much less on bureaucracy, prisons, police (yes, crime is down 70% since we set our police forces at their current size) and welfare. Our environment is being damaged by so many people commuting from afar into Cities. Welfare should be unpleasant and temporary, there should be communities far from Cities where there is basic row housing and daily job training, education and drug rehabilitation to change the basic habits of those on welfare so they can do at least a minimum wage job, hopefully better, you shouldn’t get cheap housing in prime areas long-term, or if you do, you should be required to show progress towards not needing welfare, college units each semester, job training, drug rehabilitation. Now welfare is a free for all and many take the money and do nothing to improve themselves, their children or their lives and futures. It should be a hand up, not a hand out.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              As for my comments on the lawsuit, I'm just stating the reality that you win in current courts, with current justices, by being more of a victim than the other side. That's the only reason Vergara won. Sure, teachers can be victims and spend a lot of money to claim there is a plot by billionaires to fire them arbitrarily and reduce wages and that the other side isn't at all concerned with … Read More

              As for my comments on the lawsuit, I’m just stating the reality that you win in current courts, with current justices, by being more of a victim than the other side. That’s the only reason Vergara won. Sure, teachers can be victims and spend a lot of money to claim there is a plot by billionaires to fire them arbitrarily and reduce wages and that the other side isn’t at all concerned with poor performance or effort or absenteeism, that their illnesses are all valid and it’s made up, and due to the law of the stronger victim generally winning all court cases, that can protect against the establishment, but Vergara pitted them against a group with a greater claim to victimhood, hence the victory. It is the same in this case. In 2015, the group seen as poorer and a greater victim will win over 90% of the time.

          • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

            No offense, Dawn, but as an experienced civil trial lawyer who is also deeply distressed by the horribly inadequate funding of education in California, I don't see anything that looks like a likely winning case for the CUSD or other CA districts in federal court on federal constitutional grounds given the state of the case law precedent. The legal world often doesn't use the sort of simple connect-the-dots common sense that the rest … Read More

            No offense, Dawn, but as an experienced civil trial lawyer who is also deeply distressed by the horribly inadequate funding of education in California, I don’t see anything that looks like a likely winning case for the CUSD or other CA districts in federal court on federal constitutional grounds given the state of the case law precedent. The legal world often doesn’t use the sort of simple connect-the-dots common sense that the rest of the world uses.

            Great official attention is brought to bear on narrowing “gaps” in student achievement in CA. Unfortunately, gaps can be narrowed by simply ensuring that gifted students have no opportunity to really excel. Cutting funding that benefits gifted students may help narrow the dreaded achievement gaps. I see enormous attention given on these pages and elsewhere to improving the performance of the lowest achieving students, and keeping the worst behaved students in school, but very little or nothing on facilitating the highest possible achievement by the most gifted students. Apparently we don’t much care whether, say, cancer or multiple sclerosis will someday be cured by a former student whose achievement was allowed to soar.

            I agree with you fully that the present low funding situation is unfair and awful. California has a very high cost of living and to be able to employ any teachers at all, California has to pay what are relatively high teacher salaries nationally. But with low per-student funding, something must give in a zero sum game, and as a result you have huge class sizes, inadequate educational materials, and poor school facilities. Teachers are generally doing heroic jobs under such adverse circumstances, but there is no way they can do enough to overcome such adversity.

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Andrew, Serrano brought a semblance of equalized state funding (in theory anyway). But then equal funding was deemed to be lacking in equal opportunity due to unequal costs associated with remediating low performance. Now we are funding education unequally, which, strangely enough, is the crux of the Serrano complaint - the unequal funding of education. The obvious difference between then and now (and going on some time) is that the definition of equal has … Read More

              Andrew, Serrano brought a semblance of equalized state funding (in theory anyway). But then equal funding was deemed to be lacking in equal opportunity due to unequal costs associated with remediating low performance. Now we are funding education unequally, which, strangely enough, is the crux of the Serrano complaint – the unequal funding of education. The obvious difference between then and now (and going on some time) is that the definition of equal has changed to be unequal when it comes to educational opportunity. And with the paucity of funding, the needs of the underperformers are deemed more important than the needs of the others, mediocre and above.

              FWIW, I don’t think the State should pick winners and losers based upon wealth.You can be poor and do well but still get extra funding. You can be poor and do badly and get no extra funding based upon the school you attend. And you can not be poor and do badly and get no extra funding. Considering our last place status, why are we using such a crude measurement to decide who gets extra when we have spent so much on testing that tells us exactly who is doing well and who isn’t (early grades excepted) by the standards that have been set?

              My experience in education tells me that some significant portion of students do poorly because they simply don’t care. Why should we subsidize their education on the backs of all the students who do care?

              The Overton Window has moved to the left to accommodate the illiterate and the expense of excellence.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Don, you are right. I don’t agree with my statements in terms of what should be, but I am simply stating what is.

        • Shripathi Kamath 2 years ago2 years ago

          Because no one is passing any amendments. Ergo, what exists is what people are comfortable with

  4. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    As is always the case in education, there are a number of different issues muddying the waters in understanding the implications of Cruz v. CA. Some people want it to be a referendum on LCFF and see it as an opportunity to add additional weight the SC grants. Maybe it is, but then why did Cruz define the "class action" in narrow terms? Changing the funding formula is not within the … Read More

    As is always the case in education, there are a number of different issues muddying the waters in understanding the implications of Cruz v. CA. Some people want it to be a referendum on LCFF and see it as an opportunity to add additional weight the SC grants. Maybe it is, but then why did Cruz define the “class action” in narrow terms? Changing the funding formula is not within the scope of the court nor politically feasible, even if LCFF were on trial. 16% of LCFF is SC grant and 14% of Prop 98 funding remains categorical, which is to say that compensatory education takes a roughly equal piece of the pie before and after LCFF. (See Mac Taylor’s LAO budget report for next year)

    There’s no argument over the contention in Cruz that students need to get a minimum of instructional time to have any hope of succeeding in school. The state cannot dispute that. No one can argue a bare minimum in terms of service is not needed for reaching proficiency. This broaches another important point raised in this discussion. Is a bare minimum sufficient for an “adequate” education (referring to Dawn and her invoking of Rodriguez)? If schools could attain proficiency for a majority of students would this be “adequate”? I doubt Dawn would think so. Right now about half of CA’s students are proficient. Cruz only asks that students get the opportunity to attend a full schedule of classes and enjoy the same statewide prevailing standards for teaching, counseling and instructional materials.

    Putting aside student motivation, teacher quality, academic course rigor, competent management, pedagogically appropriate content and instructional materials, etc., without students in class for a minimum of time there’s no opportunity to deliver the content required to advance. I assume that is why the ACLU framed the case in this way. It is one of the most basic shortcomings conceivable – a school without instruction and only a lack of safety and security is more fundamental.

    The defendants claim that LCFF will provide the answers for Cruz. Even if it did, another 7 years is too long for these students to wait and the first year showed no promise of a solution from LCFF. The lack of educational opportunity in these schools is so egregious as to require an immediate intervention, not a potential solution that, at best will play out over a decade. I don’t understand why the State wants to make an issue of LCFF when Cruz doesn’t. It seems a strategic mistake for the defense unless they are concerned that the ruling will have a far wider reach. They should step in and fix the schools rather than spend the money on the students rather than the lawyers. California voted for Brown and Torlakson and this is what they got. Where do the unions come down on this?

    LCFF is a only weighted student formula with some vague parameters and no true accountability. It is not a particular solution for specific schools where the confluence of low funding, poor management and social issues leads to extreme deprivation. Local control purposefully leaves the practice of education in the hands of the LEA, not the state. Cruz asks: if the LEA fails to meet its constitutional obligation, is the state still responsible? Could the State get off the hook for its failure to meet its constitutional obligation simply by telling the LEAs it’s their problem now?

    How could a funding scheme be construed to absolve the state of its constitutional obligation? If money is the primary issue at these schools, to the extent they cannot function in their primary role to educate, these schools could be considered insolvent and should go into state receivership. Is the state maintaining it is no longer required to save students from the ravages of bankruptcy, too?

    Replies

    • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

      To your first point, only about a quarter of that 16% has been funded so far, so it's nowhere near the 'same as before'. Second, lausd put half a billion of its s&c grant into special education (other districts are putting a proportionate amount from base funding into it). Few LCAPs say where any of that s&c money is going and that's probably because it's being used to cover structural deficits. Again, nowhere near the … Read More

      To your first point, only about a quarter of that 16% has been funded so far, so it’s nowhere near the ‘same as before’.
      Second, lausd put half a billion of its s&c grant into special education (other districts are putting a proportionate amount from base funding into it). Few LCAPs say where any of that s&c money is going and that’s probably because it’s being used to cover structural deficits. Again, nowhere near the ‘same as before’.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        a school cant go into bankruptcy because it cannot make financial commitments without the approval of the district, and invariably those are never approved without pre-available funding (or at least something known to be coming), and sometimes not even then. closing the schools does not help because the problem is the lack of policy dictating these resources; the same issues exists to differing degrees in virtually all high poverty schools. and state receivership is not … Read More

        a school cant go into bankruptcy because it cannot make financial commitments without the approval of the district, and invariably those are never approved without pre-available funding (or at least something known to be coming), and sometimes not even then.
        closing the schools does not help because the problem is the lack of policy dictating these resources; the same issues exists to differing degrees in virtually all high poverty schools.
        and state receivership is not a ‘solution’. that can end up being worse than the issue attempting to be solved. interesting side-effect of receivership, however, would be that it would be clear what the state considers ‘adequate’. ahem.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Navigio, when you say only been a quarter of the 16% has been funded, I believe you are referring to full funding at the end of the 8 years. But the percentage of the LCFF funding going respectively to the grants for each year is still the same, unless I'm missing something. We are discussing so many different issues simultaneously it is getting a bit confusing. Regarding LCFF's root problems - there are … Read More

          Navigio, when you say only been a quarter of the 16% has been funded, I believe you are referring to full funding at the end of the 8 years. But the percentage of the LCFF funding going respectively to the grants for each year is still the same, unless I’m missing something.

          We are discussing so many different issues simultaneously it is getting a bit confusing. Regarding LCFF’s root problems – there are two. The FRPL designation is problematic and creates a lot of waste in a system that cannot afford it. Too many students qualify who are proficient and too many students don’t qualify that aren’t. On top of that, grant funding is not tracked so districts allocate it as they wish and some schools will get more than their share while others get less. This problem stems from the fact that LCFFis not a per pupil funding scheme that delivers a set amount to each qualified student at each school. To the extent Title One with a schoolwide model often distributes funding to all students indiscriminately at a T1 school, LCFF is even much more of a crude allocation system. In SFUSD, the weighted student formula provides funding to each qualified student in each school budget. However, SFUSD doesn’t allocate SC funding that way and therefore makes it discretionary. And that is the operative word. LCFF is entirely discretionary. A district can overlook schools with plenty of poor and underperforming students or decide, as you say LAUSD did, to use the funding to pay for SPED, for example.

          The LCFF system doesn’t work as designed because local control as legislated means districts decide who gets funded and who doesn’t. As long as it can reasonable claim it spends its SC grants for the purposes intended, the inconvenient truth that many targeted students get none of it doesn’t matter. In other words, LCFF just takes pot shots at the problem and doesn’t guarantee the individual student equal opportunity, if by that it means providing more funding for targeted students.

          • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

            No. The amount going respectively to each type of grant is not the same now as the ratio of the grants at full funding. And for most districts, it will be impossible to know what that ratio truly is (we can know what they say what it is--if we can find it--but how they use it is variable, so it will mean one thing for one district and a different thing for another, more on … Read More

            No. The amount going respectively to each type of grant is not the same now as the ratio of the grants at full funding. And for most districts, it will be impossible to know what that ratio truly is (we can know what they say what it is–if we can find it–but how they use it is variable, so it will mean one thing for one district and a different thing for another, more on this below).

            The only requirement for s&c funding is that the starting point must be at least equal to 12-13 EIA expenditures (can be more, can’t be less). That starting point is then subtracted from the full s&c funding amount to define the gap in s&c funding, and then that gap is funded at the same rate as lcff in general (13-14: 12%, 14-15: 29%, 15-16: 20%, etc).

            Only if that starting point is in the same proportion to total state revenue as it would be at full funding would that gap funding mechanism end up assigning amounts proportionally. I have yet to see a district whose EIA expenditures were in the same proportion to state revenue in 12-13 as s&c would be at full funding for lcff. So anyone who simply uses 12-13 EIA as the starting point will not be assigning s&c proportionally to full funding. Anyone who uses a larger number will be getting closer. This is why I said in an earlier post that what is being phased in is not lcff funding, but unduplicated rate.

            The one caveat is that a district can choose a starting point higher than 12-13 EIA expenditures. Ironically, lausd did exactly this. They chose a number almost 5 times the 12-13 EIA expenditures. This put their s&c proportion in the first year very close to that at full funding (note however that they then turned around and put essentially all that additional money into special education. That fact may make how they eventually use the remainder of their s&c grants more similar to other districts, who knows (some other districts simply chose EIA as the starting point). Most other districts will likely fund their special education encroachment out of their base grant, which, of course, due to the above, is higher in proportion now than it will be at full funding. Expect to see more and more of that encroachment be moves to s&c in future years, especially as lausd set that precedent, and it was approved).

            The one thing that will be consistent is that no one will know about these numbers because the calculations are pretty confusing. And, because the SBE doesnt think the LCAP should be any kind of a budget document.

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Thank you for clarifying that, Navigio. I read up on the CDE website on the method of calculation. My bad. In my experience much of categorical funding was used very loosely even with the SACS system supposedly keeping watch. Money was funneled to schools as EIA-LEP, for example, but used for class size reduction which they claimed to help with ELD. Ya, right! - like lowering class size is a form of English language instruction! … Read More

              Thank you for clarifying that, Navigio. I read up on the CDE website on the method of calculation. My bad.

              In my experience much of categorical funding was used very loosely even with the SACS system supposedly keeping watch. Money was funneled to schools as EIA-LEP, for example, but used for class size reduction which they claimed to help with ELD. Ya, right! – like lowering class size is a form of English language instruction! Such are the games districts play. TIIBG was used for “whatever”, though it isn’t part of LCFF if I remember correctly. It is still used by districts for discretionary funding, like SFUSD uses it for its Superintendent Zones.

              In practice, though I’m sure it varies considerably between districts, most funding is still allocated to the same programs as before, if districts are to be believed. If that’s true then base grant funding is helping to cover those costs. What is really happening is that the whole system is now shrouded in a veil of secrecy which darkens the landscape of accountability. No one knows what’s going on except what they actually see at their schools relative to the years before. It is very difficult to feel good about a system that is intentionally set up to avoid understanding.

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              yes, the flexibility on previously categorical funding is a great point. so it may be more accurate to say that that flexibility is being extended than to say undups are necessarily getting less than they were (even though I still think they are). as far as im concerned, if the state is going to throw all the responsibility on the local community, then it should at least give it tools to figure out what's going … Read More

              yes, the flexibility on previously categorical funding is a great point. so it may be more accurate to say that that flexibility is being extended than to say undups are necessarily getting less than they were (even though I still think they are).

              as far as im concerned, if the state is going to throw all the responsibility on the local community, then it should at least give it tools to figure out what’s going on. but perhaps much of this is moot until further into lcff when the amount of money actually exceeds local structural deficits..

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Navigio, SFUSD uses funds from its base grant to budget school sites using a weighted student formula and then it also provides SC funding in a separate line item on top of that WSF funding. In effect it is doubling up on extra funds to targeted students. These schools also get all the other comped funding like TIIBG and T-I. In SFUSD our leaders have been funneling large sums to underperforming schools for years as … Read More

              Navigio, SFUSD uses funds from its base grant to budget school sites using a weighted student formula and then it also provides SC funding in a separate line item on top of that WSF funding. In effect it is doubling up on extra funds to targeted students. These schools also get all the other comped funding like TIIBG and T-I. In SFUSD our leaders have been funneling large sums to underperforming schools for years as part of its economic agenda for social justice, yet our black and Latino students underperform their counterparts in LAUSD 5 years into this program called the Superintendent Zones. In addition, the $45M SIG program had no effect on a majority of recipient schools. I don’t believe that funneling large amounts of cash to Cruz schools will solve their problems any more than I believe that money is the limiting factor that prevents the current crop of students from flourishing (Leibig’s Law of the Minimum). In education too many of the other nutrients are also missing like consistent and quality teaching staffs and stable and supportive home lives. You just can’t buy that, particularly the latter, even if we could spare no expense. During the recession, high performing students continued to excel as a group and poor performers continued not to. Money had little affect on the outcome of either group.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Don's right about that. San Francisco's black and Latino populations do worse than those in Oakland, San Jose, San Diego or Los Angeles. You'd think liberalism would help. Part of it is we're so liberal, no one will ever say the obvious, if you study 3-5 hours while Asians and whites (only in SF, statewide whites study 5.6 but more in SF) 15-20, you just can't win in a head to head … Read More

              Don’s right about that. San Francisco’s black and Latino populations do worse than those in Oakland, San Jose, San Diego or Los Angeles. You’d think liberalism would help. Part of it is we’re so liberal, no one will ever say the obvious, if you study 3-5 hours while Asians and whites (only in SF, statewide whites study 5.6 but more in SF) 15-20, you just can’t win in a head to head matchup. Hard work pays off, but it is seen as racist or insensitive to discuss effort. It is assumed you can fix it in the classroom by changing instruction. No matter what the instruction is, no matter what is being taught, how it is being taught, if you have one group with little support studying 3-6 hours and another at 15-20 or even more at Lowell, give me a break, you know who’s going to win! You can go to public libraries in SF or to Kumon Centers and you see mostly Asians and a few whites. Whites however have high incomes, tutors and educated or artistic parents. Until this changes, you won’t see the achievement gap close. Don is right, all that money did jack friggin’ squat! The Vergara issue would only impact this by 5%, it’s a minor issue compared to hours studied, tutoring and home support. Not to mention in-class behavior, with African Americans greatly overrepresented in those who get called into the office for disciplinary problems.

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Navigio, take this into consideration when talking about Comped (SC grants plus) and its efficacy: The breakdown by ethnic groups on the API website reveals the demographic advantage afforded SFUSD by its large Asian population - a regional anomaly that has allowed this district to commend itself as a comparative statewide achievement winner while never addressing the real reason for its relatively higher districtwide API among large urban school districts or the failure to turn … Read More

              Navigio, take this into consideration when talking about Comped (SC grants plus) and its efficacy:

              The breakdown by ethnic groups on the API website reveals the demographic advantage afforded SFUSD by its large Asian population – a regional anomaly that has allowed this district to commend itself as a comparative statewide achievement winner while never addressing the real reason for its relatively higher districtwide API among large urban school districts or the failure to turn around lagging ethnic groups.

              Among the four major racial groups groups, three, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians underperformed their statewide numbers by -78, -48 and -32 points, respectively. Only whites outperformed other whites statewide and by a considerable 42-point margin. SFUSD’s white population versus the State is smaller by more than half, 12% versus 26%, yet SFUSD managed to post a second place API, after SDUSD due to an Asian demographic quadruple in size compared to the state as a whole. Though the smaller white population also is a key factor in overall performance, the sheer size of the Asian student population in conjunction with its high tests scores is the primary driver of the high API, not anything to do with SFUSD’s ed program regardless of the tens of millions annually spent for compensatory education. And this is true despite the considerably weaker performance by Asian students in SFUSD compared to the Asians statewide – a fact that gives even greater significance to the population advantage posited here. In fact, SFUSD likely would underperform the State if its white students did not outperform, a point which paints an even grimmer picture of SFUSD’s educational program delivery.The poor showing by subgroups begs the question: What is SFUSD doing with its outsized funding of compensatory education such that every non-Asian minority is underperforming in this district? What does this say about throwing more money at a problem without any real accountability as we now know after year 1 of the LCAP?

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              If you really want to close the achievement gap for English Language Learners, the way to do it is with Two-Way Language Immersion Programs. My daughter- white English as her only language is in a Two- Way Program in Capistrano Unified since kindergarten - now in 7th Grade. The reason this type of program works is because many of the English Language Learners are not fluent or literate in their native language (spanish for my … Read More

              If you really want to close the achievement gap for English Language Learners, the way to do it is with Two-Way Language Immersion Programs. My daughter- white English as her only language is in a Two- Way Program in Capistrano Unified since kindergarten – now in 7th Grade. The reason this type of program works is because many of the English Language Learners are not fluent or literate in their native language (spanish for my example) By having Kindergarten being taught 90% in Spanish and 10% in English the native spanish speaker learns to be fluent and literate in their native language first and then learns English. Each year the ratio changes – First Grade 80% Spanish 20% English – Third Grade 70% Spanish 30% English etc till the class is 50% Spanish 50% English.

              The English Language Learners benefit in many other ways- culturally as well. The girls are not as prone to get pregnant and drop out of school (one example).

              The other interesting thing is that math scores for all students increase because of the connection between language development/music and math.

              So – if you really want to close achievement gaps this type of program works. If I can find the data from a letter that I wrote to help my school get a waiver from the Romero Bill I will post it. The data is very interesting.

  5. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    Gary- If you really want to get into the weeds about taxes you need to look at California's tax system at the "local level" to understand the problem with education funding which, by the way, the LCFF law has not changed. The issue is the unfair distribution of property tax dollars. Of the 58 counties in California, Orange County is the state's most generous "donor" county. That means that Orange County public school children receive … Read More

    Gary- If you really want to get into the weeds about taxes you need to look at California’s tax system at the “local level” to understand the problem with education funding which, by the way, the LCFF law has not changed.

    The issue is the unfair distribution of property tax dollars. Of the 58 counties in California, Orange County is the state’s most generous “donor” county. That means that Orange County public school children receive a much smaller percentage of our tax dollars than children in all the other counties in the state. ERAF – (Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund: Property Tax Shifts) ashttp://ac.ocgov.com/info/accounting/eraf/2014_15

    Orange County taxpayers spend about 70 percent of their property taxes on schools and only 30 percent on county and city governments and special districts. Those percentages are roughly reversed in San Francisco, which is a “recipient” county. Does this mean our schools are better-funded than those in San Francisco and other recipient counties? Unfortunately, no.

    Orange County taxpayers spend only 6 percent of our property taxes on county government. The statewide average for all 58 counties is 18 percent. In other words, general governmental services in the average county in California are three times better-funded than in Orange County.

    This “tax inequity” costs Orange County taxpayers dearly. Since 1992, the ERAF shift has taken probably $5 billion dollars from the county’s general fund, libraries, flood control, harbors beaches and parks and other community service agencies.

    Orange County’s annual “donation” to recipient counties is about $200,000,000 (money our schools could greatly use).

    What that means is that Orange County School Districts budget problems cannot be solved by voting to increase taxes. For every dollar of tax – only 6 cents of that dollar comes back to Orange County schools. We have cut $157 million from Capistrano Unified School Districts Budget since 2006, and union contracts that contain yearly automatic increases to compensation means that all Orange County schools will eventually go bankrupt unless the state of California changes the formulas used to calculate ERAF percentages or schools are able to negotiate large and permanent cuts to employee compensation.

    If you look at the way different states tax their citizens most do not have all the property tax going to the State and then have the State “redistribute” that money back to the Counties and Cities. What Jerry Brown is doing with the new LCFF law has not changed how California taxes it’s citizens. The State has a surplus because it takes in all the money then decides how much to give back to each county. The percentage of property tax dollars OC is getting back has not changed under the new law. How much would OC taxpayers have to increase their individual tax burden with a return of 6 cents in every new dollar of taxation to give our schools adequate funding?

    When you then add to that the new increased burden of CalSTRS and CalPERS contributions the picture is hopeless.

    If the State of California wants to get out of the business of controlling education at the District level then it must also give back the Property tax money that it is currently keeping at the State level so that Cities and counties truly have “Local Control” over how education dollars should be spent. Right now Jerry Brown would simply keep most of the money at the State level and then ask OC taxpayers to tax themselves a second time, or to raise money through fundraising and donations to pay for services that the State of California is constitutionally obligated to pay for. That is double taxation.

    Again if you read the Rodriquez case you will have a better understanding of Local Control and how an individual State’s taxing system affects the constitutionality of an individual State’s funding law.

    I wrote about this issue in 2012 in the Local Patch: http://patch.com/california/sanjuancapistrano/letter-to-the-editor-preventing-bankruptcy-at-capo-unified.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      I have reposted this letter on my blog and have added some up-dated resources since some links from the 2012 letter do not work. Up-dated Sources: The Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) http://ac.ocgov.com/info/accounting/eraf Transparent California http://transparentcalifornia.com/ Why is Employee compensation continuing to increase when the District has to use furlough days, class size increases and deferred maintenance to balance its budget? If there is not going to be sufficient funding then the District cannot continue to increase employee compensation … Read More

      I have reposted this letter on my blog and have added some up-dated resources since some links from the 2012 letter do not work.

      Up-dated Sources:

      The Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) http://ac.ocgov.com/info/accounting/eraf

      Transparent California http://transparentcalifornia.com/

      Why is Employee compensation continuing to increase when the District has to use furlough days, class size increases and deferred maintenance to balance its budget? If there is not going to be sufficient funding then the District cannot continue to increase employee compensation and the State cannot continue to pass expenses down to the District without also passing down the Property Tax revenue.

      Merry Christmas!

    • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn: You are changing the subject. The subject was CA's tax revenue which is the controlling factor in the state's ability, or not, to adequately support the school system. That was the subject of my post, based on US Census data, which shows in CA that the percentage of per capita income rate to support the schools is around 25% per cent lower than it is on average for the rest of the nation. The CA … Read More

      Dawn:

      You are changing the subject. The subject was CA’s tax revenue which is the controlling factor in the state’s ability, or not, to adequately support the school system. That was the subject of my post, based on US Census data, which shows in CA that the percentage of per capita income rate to support the schools is around 25% per cent lower than it is on average for the rest of the nation. The CA Legislative Analyst’s office has also noted that that rate for CA has declined over time, beginning with shortly after the passage of Prop 13. Again, property taxes is the stable tax base for funding schools in most of the rest of the nation. CA’s property tax revenue is 24th in the US. Much of that is due to a dearth of commercial property taxes as commercial property owners have been the primary beneficiaries of Prop 13, even though the propaganda spread by the Jarvis-Gann cabal was all about the elderly being thrown out of their homes. This is why Disneyland (in Orange Co. is it not?) is still paying taxes based on a 1970s era property tax rate.

      Having been in CA education for slightly over 40 years I do have some familiarity with the tax situation.

      Your concerns over over Orange County being a “donor” is one that kind of mirrors a concern I have. And that’s the irony of the “blue” coastal states being “donors” (nationally) by a substantial amount to the predominately “red” states where they elect national politicians who run on the principle of individual responsibility [sic] and rage against the 47% of “takers” who reap the benefits of our “sumptuous” public assistance programs. The “takers,” for the most part, live in their states and shake their finger at “welfare queens” with one hand and collect governments benefits with the other. It’s the “get your government hands off my Medicare” type thinking. I don’t resent the government programs, they are necessary to promote equity and relieve suffering, but the hypocrisy is stunning.

      Back to your point about “donor” counties. This, of course, is the result of the dominoes falling after the passage of Prop 13 and the settlement of Serrano v. Priest. Prop 13 removed the ability of localities to support schools and other public services based on a smothered property tax base. It also gave every “no” vote on various taxes a two to one advantage over “yes” votes in raising other local revenues to support services including schools. This, obviously, undermined democracy in the state. Then we have Serrano. That decision said basing school funding primarily on local property taxes was unconstitutional. Students living in high property tax areas had access to educational opportunities that students living in low property tax areas wouldn’t have denying them their right under the state constitution to “equal access.” And, yes, this is s point you focus on, if without looking at the bigger picture.

      Out of the train wreck of Prop 13, severely undermining CA’s ability to do much for any public services, and Serrano we got the sausage making of Revenue Limit Income (RLI), the school funding “system” prior to LCFF. RLI was an attempt by the legislature to make school funding “fair and equitable.” This was politically messy. Most school funding dollars. now based on other very volatile taxes as well as quite limited property taxes, would go to Sacramento to be “divvied up” in a way that met the court’s requirements. Almost. We (the school system) got out of this, low wealth districts, high wealth districts, and basic aide districts. There was an assumption that typically rural low wealth areas need less money to provided equitable education and more expensive (high wealth) urban areas needed more. As you have realized that meant taking some money from wealthier areas and redistributing it to poorer areas. But, not too much of any of that. The really wealthy, and politicly influential, area were left alone as basic aide districts that continue to be funded by property taxes. Much of this got laid out in complex formulas. And then we get to Prop 98, and even more complexity.

      The upshot of all this is an attempt by the state to live within a revenue system that was volatile, severely limited by being around 15th in the nation in revenue collected, having to provide services (and the people who provide those services) in the 2nd highest state in the nation in cost-of-living, and work within a Constitutional framework defined by the courts in Serrano.

      I should add the the “principle” defined by Serrano, that it is unconstitutional to provide children with an education limited by their parent’s wealth and nearby property values, is one that has been reaffirmed in court cases in a number of other states. Then there have been cases affirmed by the courts in other states saying it is not Constitutional to not provide “adequate” funding for schools. This has required a change to some state’s tax systems. “Adequacy” has often been defined as the dollars necessary to educate a child to set the level of “rigor’ in a states education standards. This was a topic of a study done some years ago in the state, under a Republican governor, called “Getting Down to Facts,” and a general agreement that the state needed to provide $30 billion plus to education. Then, a bunch of excuses were made about why this should not happen. Bottom line: it meant more taxes. LCFF is another effort to make the state’s school funding more equitable and better suited to the needs of the student population.

      Have a good holiday!

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Gary, if taxing commercial property caused us to really close the achievement gap, I'd be for it. But why couldn't we imprison the percentage of people Europe does? Why couldn't we reduce our defense to just barely the leading one in the world and not involve ourselves in other nations' affairs and only keep enough nukes to say, destroy the world once, which would mean a cut of over 50%. The prison … Read More

        Gary, if taxing commercial property caused us to really close the achievement gap, I’d be for it. But why couldn’t we imprison the percentage of people Europe does? Why couldn’t we reduce our defense to just barely the leading one in the world and not involve ourselves in other nations’ affairs and only keep enough nukes to say, destroy the world once, which would mean a cut of over 50%. The prison cost is more of a State cost. Also, DC spends a lot, what if we spent more but it just went into salaries and was considered an entitlement and there was no improvement? You have consistently avoided commenting on why Asian and other ethnicities study harder. Do families bear some responsibility for poor performance in school? Do families need to change their habits? I don’t hear much from you that I feel confident would change the achievement gap with more money. It would be a shame to spend more and still have this problem. No focus on tutoring or effort is every included, and you stay quiet or change the subject whenever one talks about the groups which push themselves to thrive while poor, like Asians. You never mention culture, effort, or dedication. You never even comment on it. And you also assume tenure/seniority never ever has any effect on allowing teachers to feel it’s OK to call in sick even if not sick and the need to raise attendance levels to corporate levels or ideally higher, as in corporations people only have 10 days off and some have no choice but to miss a day for a doctor’s appointment, whereas teachers can wait for their weeks and moths off and avoid having to miss school for such things. You ignore many of the issues facing an effort to improve factual performance. I comment on any fact your raise, but you ignore any that don’t fit your paradigm of poverty is to blame and can’t be overcome, more money would help. Merry Christmas.

      • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

        Prop 13 is just a variation of the seniority system used for teacher salary schedules. Property owners who have "seniority" and who owned their properties for a long time under Prop 13 commonly pay half or less in property taxes what a newer owner would pay for the same property. Just as a five year teacher might make half of what a 30 year teacher makes under union negotiated salary schedules. … Read More

        Prop 13 is just a variation of the seniority system used for teacher salary schedules.

        Property owners who have “seniority” and who owned their properties for a long time under Prop 13 commonly pay half or less in property taxes what a newer owner would pay for the same property. Just as a five year teacher might make half of what a 30 year teacher makes under union negotiated salary schedules. I could make many of the same arguments in favor of Prop 13 that senior teachers make in favor of the salary schedules heavily weighted in their favors.

        Both systems strike me as unfair to those less senior. But your analysis of education funding and funding issues in California is well put together and helpful in seeing the whole picture. Merry Christmas!

        • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          How dare you criticize the overpaid and undertaxed on Christmas! Great point, very true. Property Tax should be based on benefit and pay based on productivity/contribution to children. Both are equally ridiculous! And Dawn, it's Christmas! Let's tax the rich and pay for planes. We shouldn't only accept the poor from Mexico and Central America. Gas is going down. Fuel. Let's pay for planes to Africa, … Read More

          How dare you criticize the overpaid and undertaxed on Christmas! Great point, very true. Property Tax should be based on benefit and pay based on productivity/contribution to children. Both are equally ridiculous! And Dawn, it’s Christmas! Let’s tax the rich and pay for planes. We shouldn’t only accept the poor from Mexico and Central America. Gas is going down. Fuel. Let’s pay for planes to Africa, New Guinea, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Fiji to go and offer to bring back anyone who wishes to emigrate to California and collect welfare and study under 5 hours a week while watching TV over 40. Who cares if they’ll try to do well in school. It’s Christmas and they can be richer here on welfare than there on super hard backbreaking work. Our kids can afford getting less and still be upper middle class and pay taxes for the kids of these immigrants. It’s Christmas. We’re morally obligated to help the poor of the world, not make our schools better!

        • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

          Andrew: If you read what I had to say about Prop 13, with an open mind (and it can be done if you persevere) you can see that I attribute the motivations of the proposition's proponents to being all about protecting large business landholders in the state, and not about the abuse of elders at all. There is considerable evidence to suggest the actual funders of the Prop 13 campaign were business interests and little, … Read More

          Andrew:

          If you read what I had to say about Prop 13, with an open mind (and it can be done if you persevere) you can see that I attribute the motivations of the proposition’s proponents to being all about protecting large business landholders in the state, and not about the abuse of elders at all. There is considerable evidence to suggest the actual funders of the Prop 13 campaign were business interests and little, if any, to support the idea of the elderly being thrown out in the street because of property taxes.

          As along time home owner I do have an advantage due to Prop 13 on my property taxes. I would not find it objectionable to create a system where the long time homeowners pay a more so the newer homeowner could pay a less. I would also not object to work the system, as many bond and parcel taxes are conceived, to carve out protections for the elderly so that they are protected in their homes. (Full disclosure: I would benefit from such a carve out.) What I have suggested is not politically palatable. The mythology of Prop 13 still holds sway. There is room to maneuver on the commercial property side though.

          As I have explained on numerous accessions there are various reasons to support the current configuration of most uniform salary schedules.

          Teachers are awarded for an “experience factor” and this is supported by research indicating that experience counts for teaching. Even leading members of the public-school-criticism-industrial-complex have written that students in high poverty schools/districts are “cheated” by the fact that there are fewer senior teachers in those kinds of districts. The critics have proposed restricting teachers’ rights to transfer as a “solution” (the “solution to education problems” always wrapped conveniently in an attack on teachers and their rights). As I have also stated, based on research in the subject, teachers leave schools, districts, the profession most often because of their perceptions of lack of leadership and lack of resources to do the job. A couple of other factors that can be untangled are “proximity” and salary. Teachers tend to be of the middle-class and want to have homes in middle-class areas. Teachers will often choose to teach in schools near where they live. Though salary is not a primary motivation for teachers (no one enters the profession expecting to buy a second home on Maui) they are also not monks sworn to lives of poverty. They also have their families to consider. Salaries in distressed districts tend to be lower.

          This helps explain the seniority “steps” in the salary schedules .

          Then there is a career incentive factor. teachers tend to look both at the starting and ending salaries when they consider applying to a district. This is a factor that district administrations look at also. The HR people want to have a schedule that is attractive as well as competitive. The schedule is not creature of union construction only.

          Then there is the retirement factor. Pensions tend to be based on either the last three or last year of the salary/work schedule. This provides for a modest, but secure retirement.

          Then there is the fact that there is not enough money available to do everything everybody wants to do. Provide a decent salary, keep class sizes as low as possible, keep as high a number of supports for students available as possible (e.g., psychologists, librarians, counselors, etc.) Providing “extra duty” pay (e.g., BTSA support providers, PAR coaches/mentors/professional development providers, athletic coaches, drama teachers, etc.). All of this, of course, is also tied up in the effort to provide the best classroom experience and high levels of student support as possible both on the upon and management sides. There are many competing demands to be worked out at the bargaining table, and often it’s a collaborative rather than adversarial process. Then there is the effort to make it all as fair and equitable as possible and one that, in the democratic contract ratification process, is acceptable to the membership (as well as the school board and community). There is a lot of soul-searching at a professional level, a great deal of time and effort, deep thought, working within an Ed Code, and the usual blood, sweat, and tears that goes into the whole thing. And all of this the 48th, 49, or 50th funded K-12 education system in the nation.

          Teachers not only move down the salary schedule in “seniority steps” increasing compensation. They can also move across the schedule, based on earning more academic credits that also raises compensation. Gaining a masters or doctorate is also usually rewarded with extra compensation. There are some press releases, called “studies,” that suggest that teachers earning more academic credit does not “pay off” in increased student achievement. These “studies” often use some variation on the discredited VAM as criteria. Then there is the huge irony in suggesting that anyone in any profession doesn’t gain effectiveness by earning more academic credits or degrees. It’s great for professors, doctors, engineers, and so on, but not teachers. Right.

          And a Merry Christmass to you and yours also.

          • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

            Gary- I want to agree with you on commercial property. Think about the example of a person who bought a small apartment building and held that property for over 30 years. The tax generated on the building would remain relatively low year after year while the building was generating a lot of revenue in the form of rental income and appreciation. That is a very different situation from a homeowner that is paying a mortgage to … Read More

            Gary-

            I want to agree with you on commercial property. Think about the example of a person who bought a small apartment building and held that property for over 30 years. The tax generated on the building would remain relatively low year after year while the building was generating a lot of revenue in the form of rental income and appreciation. That is a very different situation from a homeowner that is paying a mortgage to live in their house who is not profiting from an annual revenue stream and who may be priced out of their home as they got older and the tax increased every year. So it would be reasonable to have different policies for a primary residence then it would be for commercial property that generates monthly revenue streams.

            That being said- the amount of new potential revenue the State can generate should, as a matter of law, be irrelevant in deciding the issue of the Constitutionality of California’s LCFF. There are only 2 things that the CA constitution requires the State to Fund: #1 The State Militia and #2 The Public Education System. The State MUST pay for an adequate education for EVERY student before it pays for any other services or creates any new entitlements and programs. So if there is only enough tax revenue to pay for the State Militia and the Public Education System- then that is what gets paid for and nothing else.

            It will be interesting to see the decision in Robles Wong because the issue is really that simple. Unless the State changes the constitution, the base grant needs to be increased or the law should be declared unconstitutional under the State Constitution and the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment.

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              To be more clear- California has not right under the California Constitution to pay for any program or service until the State military and the State’s publication system is paid for.

              If the State would like to change that then they need to change the State’s constitution-

              Sorry Jerry- no bullet train until the Constitution is changed.

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              To be more clear- California has no right under the California Constitution to pay for any program or service until the State military and the State’s public education system is paid for.

              If the State would like to change spending priorities then they need to change the State’s constitution-

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              You guys are just dancing around the issue: ‘adequate’ is neither defined nor enforced, not as a function of instructional resources, nor, more importantly, as a function of employee compensation. Until it is, the funders will just sit back and laugh while public education internal interests fight amongst themselves over whether one can extract ‘adequate’ from the pie at the expense of another.

            • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

              Navigio: Actually precedent has been established in over 20 cases across the US as to what constitutes "adequate" funding. That is, an "assessment" is made as to how many dollars it takes per student to bring "all" students to some level of proficiency based on the rigor of state standards. As has been stated previously a number of the studies conducted for the "Getting Down to Facts" document of some years ago did some of this … Read More

              Navigio:

              Actually precedent has been established in over 20 cases across the US as to what constitutes “adequate” funding. That is, an “assessment” is made as to how many dollars it takes per student to bring “all” students to some level of proficiency based on the rigor of state standards. As has been stated previously a number of the studies conducted for the “Getting Down to Facts” document of some years ago did some of this work. Based on CA’s standards at the time several experts came up with figures ranging from $30 plus billion to $1.5 trillion. When the results were leaked the rollout of the report was politically fixed by have Hanushek at Hoover for example, who has never found good reason to increase school funding or support teachers, be one of the co-presnters. Obviously, under a Republican Administration (even a sham administration with the Governator at the helm), to propose $30 billion more for school funding on top of repairing the $20 million in cuts created, in large part, by the Governator’s manipulation of auto registration fees would have had the infamous “base” foaming at the mouth. (This post will likely generate a little “foaming” right here.)

              CA has since adopted the CCSS which are ” benchmarked at world class,” whatever that means, so we could assume that would mean world class funding, not funding on a par with those cradles of civilization Alabama and Mississippi.

              So, the courts do have a widely accepted definition of “adequate” to work with. To this point in time CA courts have never done so. They do have another shot at it, so we’ll see.

            • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

              Dawn: You need to study the issues around public funding a bit. There are "pots" of public money that can be used for one thing and not another. Dollars from bonds, for example, can be used for improvements to school plants and infrastructure but not compensation. Dollars from parcel taxes can be more flexibly applied, to hire more personnel, make salaries more attractive and competitive in order to attract and keep personnel and reduce "churn." LAUSD, interestingly, … Read More

              Dawn:

              You need to study the issues around public funding a bit. There are “pots” of public money that can be used for one thing and not another. Dollars from bonds, for example, can be used for improvements to school plants and infrastructure but not compensation. Dollars from parcel taxes can be more flexibly applied, to hire more personnel, make salaries more attractive and competitive in order to attract and keep personnel and reduce “churn.”

              LAUSD, interestingly, appears to have tried to “stretch” the definitions around how bond dollars can be expended with the infamous iPad experiment. My understanding is the FBI is now involved in that discussion.

              As far as I am aware the “Bullet Train” is funded primarily by federal transportation dollars, state bond dollars, and some new dollars from CA’s yet to be implemented “carbon tax.” Those funds could not be directed to the schools. Different “pot.” General fund expenditures (which can fund the schools) for the train are minimal if at all.

              The courts have never, to my knowledge. interpreted the CA Constitution and how the state should expend dollars in the fashion you suggest. States have many responsibilities other than the schools.

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Dawn, you mentioned before you were not familiar with Serrano. This is the seminal education case in California. As Gary explained, without it students were entirely dependent upon the ability of their district to raise revenue. If a poor and a rich district each needed $10M in revenue, the tax burden in the poor district was much higher given the higher tax rate needed to raise that same amount of revenue due to … Read More

              Dawn, you mentioned before you were not familiar with Serrano. This is the seminal education case in California. As Gary explained, without it students were entirely dependent upon the ability of their district to raise revenue. If a poor and a rich district each needed $10M in revenue, the tax burden in the poor district was much higher given the higher tax rate needed to raise that same amount of revenue due to property values.

              The problem with Gary’s explanation is that, first, not all basic aid districts are rich as he contended, but more importantly, not all problems stem from funding. He wants to make the entire problem of education in California about funding and ignore the other issues. Since the vast majority of all funding goes to pay salaries it would make sense for the union to hold such a position. But some students will continue to excel and advance even with larger class sizes and cutbacks and other students will never reach proficiency no matter how large the supplemental grant. He believes a poor teacher can be made a good teacher with proper training. I thought the purpose of the public schools was to train students?

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              nothing in current law or policy (getting down to facts is neither) or even precedent tells us how to weigh the competing interests of employee compensation, staffing levels and instructional resources. instead, we get a block of money and those with most power and/or loudest voices win. let me put it more bluntly (as long as we're working toward foaming): you can achieve financial goals in a number of ways: cutting teacher compensation, cutting support staff, … Read More

              nothing in current law or policy (getting down to facts is neither) or even precedent tells us how to weigh the competing interests of employee compensation, staffing levels and instructional resources. instead, we get a block of money and those with most power and/or loudest voices win.
              let me put it more bluntly (as long as we’re working toward foaming): you can achieve financial goals in a number of ways: cutting teacher compensation, cutting support staff, cutting central admins or instructional resources, closing schools. etc etc. what impact does each of these have on instruction? should they be done at equal rates? and what of increasing funding? should increased funding be put back into each of these facets equally? in proportion to their importance? in proportion to their historical lack of funding? how should they be weighed against the more explicit requirements of special education? how much should schools control vs boards?
              i said adequacy as a function of other things.
              i will be truly dismayed if utla caves and agrees to set compensation levels independent of knowing what will happen with support staff levels. (not only is knowing the latter a precondition on determining the former, but teacher quality is directly a function of those other things and thus it will destroy the one opportunity we had to have a discussion about how to at least think about weighing these competing interests. and note, when funding is not limitless, even absolute adequacy is still a function of the relative nature of compensation within broader society–eg how does compensation impact quality and quantity of the various professions involved?).
              i have a sneaking suspicion that public education for all children is simply not sustainable in the kind of economic system we have. if that’s true, the discussion needs to be turned to whether we invest in those who have the most likelihood of succeeding, or if we invest in those for whom government is supposed to be the backstop. at the moment, policy is taking the latter approach, imho (with the exception of special education, where some levels of support are explicitly defined). and given the numbers from the report you cite, even lcff is just small taste of where we would need to end up (if it even ends up being any different than whats happened up to now).

          • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            Gary, you have studies but ignore studies showing some teachers are more effective than others, significantly so, with less seniority. You also never addressed whether you feel some teachers take days off they should not, morally, because they aren’t sick and don’t need to.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Navigio, what about when a teacher everyone knows is ineffective stays on the job 20 years or more after everyone knows they're ineffective? Some have had 3 attempts at removal, all failing, some none, and are still ineffective. This takes a court action because you can spend 9-10k or 30k and anyone in their class will not have "adequate" education. It isn't only about taxes and money. It's about a special … Read More

              Navigio, what about when a teacher everyone knows is ineffective stays on the job 20 years or more after everyone knows they’re ineffective? Some have had 3 attempts at removal, all failing, some none, and are still ineffective. This takes a court action because you can spend 9-10k or 30k and anyone in their class will not have “adequate” education. It isn’t only about taxes and money. It’s about a special interest putting the interests of their worst and non-trying members over the interests of mostly low income schoolchildren. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              Doesn’t matter fluid. That counts as adequate under current law.

            • Shripathi Kamath 2 years ago2 years ago

              Indeed. But how does one conclude that a teacher is more effective than another?

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Shripathi, this is lame. It's difficult to determine how one teacher is more effective than another so we should continue to pay, lay off and promote in lockstep? The Chronicle yesterday praised Vergara and said politicians should break with labor and do what's right for children and put children #1. Do we not bother to differentiate in business because how can you tell when one engineer is better than another? Some … Read More

              Shripathi, this is lame. It’s difficult to determine how one teacher is more effective than another so we should continue to pay, lay off and promote in lockstep? The Chronicle yesterday praised Vergara and said politicians should break with labor and do what’s right for children and put children #1. Do we not bother to differentiate in business because how can you tell when one engineer is better than another? Some people have different opinions. Google values things differently than IBM or Oracle or HP. It is obvious some teachers are better than others. This is a phony argument because people like you always criticize factors and act like you are all deep and saying, this isn’t always ideal, like you’re trying to find a way, but in the end you push for seniority only which is less accurate than other factors and gives teachers a sense of satisfaction and comfort when in many cases stress and pressure makes you work harder and help kids more. Here is a list of what should be factors in valuing teacher, all of which are more fair than seniority and more reflective of how hard a teacher works:

              1. Observations by the principal without rules restricting it from the Union. Principals know education and can observe and tell in meetings which teachers are most dedicated. Their observation of teachers is restricted by union rules which are counterproductive. Watching someone work is very effective. Also with modern technologies, we could install cameras in each classroom to reward teachers who stay focused and reprimand teachers who teach for 5 minutes and read the paper while having kids correct each other or study quietly, and this is very common.

              2. Attendance. Teachers who only call in sick or miss a day when they absolutely have no other choice should be laid off after teachers who routinely take the maximum 11-12 days off even if they don’t need them. In San Francisco, they get 11 days and they don’t even have to call their boss, a principal, to say they are sick. Absentee rates are higher than those for students. Some teachers don’t call in sick at all and I know several, but some call in sick the maximum allowable number of days every year, taking trips to Vegas, going to the movies, staying home, going to cafes. Now teachers work 184 days a year vs. 250-260 for many of us pressured not to even take 2 weeks vacation. Doctor’s appointments and the like can be done in all those extra days off, Summer, a week for Spring, 2 weeks for winter and days others don’t get off or at 4 PM after work which can be made. Every time there is a sub 22-35 children are damaged. It hurts their education. Time off should be an unfortunate occasional occurrence, but work should be rewarded. There is no negative consequence to calling in sick 11 days each year with no explanation or justification under current union rules, and many teachers take full unfair advantage of this putting their own interests ahead of those of children.

              3. Test Scores. Yes, this can be a factor. You adjust for the previous year’s test scores and consider demographics, but you look at improvement and value add. This will demonstrate clearly some teachers are way better than others.

              4. Student Reviews. Ratemyteacher.com shows some teachers are absolutely ridiculous. Look up Pang at Lowell or Ho at Presidio (Ms.). There is no doubt you’re dealing with someone awful who is hurting children’s education not helping it. There are thousands of such teachers. Student reviews will show a lot and students should be trusted.

              5. Parent Reviews. Give the most credence to the best students. Parents try to meet with teachers and call and some teachers are way more helpful than others. Teachers should lose particular points on this if they don’t bother to show up at back to school night, as some teachers at Lowell have missed 3 consecutive years after teaching the day of said night, and it’s only once a year. This is incredibly disrespectful to parents.

              6. Peer Reviews. This could become a rubber stamp but if done honestly would be a valuable tool.

              All of these tell us more than how many years a teacher has been on the job. Some teachers are great, and some are slackers or mediocre. We aren’t near the bottom internationally because teacher quality is a priority. Parenting is a factor, but teacher quality could improve. Don’t let your question lead to judging by seniority, which is less accurate than any of these 6 factors and does less to motivate pressure and encourage teachers to work harder.

  6. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    Rodriquez also stated that a Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws to ensure that the law bears a rational relationship to a legitimate State Purpose. The LCFF law creates inequities that are not rational and do not fulfill the State’s goal of providing an adequate education to every student. The stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a base level of funding for every student … Read More

    Rodriquez also stated that a Federal Court has proper jurisdiction to review an individual State’s Education funding laws to ensure that the law bears a rational relationship to a legitimate State Purpose. The LCFF law creates inequities that are not rational and do not fulfill the State’s goal of providing an adequate education to every student.

    The stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a base level of funding for every student (Base Grant) and then to provide additional funding to students who have high needs such as ELL and socioeconomically disadvantaged (Supplemental Grant and Concentration Grant). However the law does not achieve that result at all. The result is per pupil funding that varies from a low of $6,244 per student to a high of $177,829 per student. The LCFF intentionally underfunds wealthy suburban school districts which in effect deprives any student who happens to live in such a District of an adequate education irrespective of that students personal wealth or income. Does $273 per student provide the Capistrano Unified School District with the funding they need to address the needs of the English Language Learners and Poor in the District? Of course not.

    The Court in Rodriguez found that while the Texas funding system was not perfect, the system provided a basic education for every child in the State. The same can not be found in the State of California under the new LCFF law.

    This is the law suit that should be brought.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      Dawn, while by your statistics we may be a recipient county in San Francisco, I assure you our property taxes would fund way better schools if distributed by county and we definitely pay way more than we get and waste a ton of money on other things we should spend on schools. San Francisco has a higher average home price than any county plus a big downtown with property taxes paid for largely by … Read More

      Dawn, while by your statistics we may be a recipient county in San Francisco, I assure you our property taxes would fund way better schools if distributed by county and we definitely pay way more than we get and waste a ton of money on other things we should spend on schools. San Francisco has a higher average home price than any county plus a big downtown with property taxes paid for largely by suburban residents who commute in, which pays property tax. We also have significant tourism taxes. In addition, we have large areas with few children and have about 60% of the # of children as a percentage that most localities have, about 16% under 18 vs. 26% statewide, though that’s an old stat, I think it’s loser to 14 and 23 now as the population has aged. Though we have a reputation of being very liberal, our whites are no more dedicated to integration than anywhere and we have a huge private school population, much bigger than areas most people view as more conservative, about 30%, though this is somewhat inflated as some suburban kids commute into private schools, it is still over 20% and nearly half of white kids and nearly all in some neighborhoods, vs. 8% statewide including home schooled kids. Our tax revenue per child is something like 5 times the average, yet our schools spend per pupil the same as Manteca, Fresno, San Diego, etc. The formulas really hurt us but they also made SF government feel it had no moral obligation to pay extra outside of the base grant amount. Some counties choose to, but we spend on our 11 Supervisors, in the same size City as 1950, 3 100k assistants plus a supervisor at well over that, so 44 people, when we had 11 part time as late as the mid ’80s earning under 10k a year. We pay police an average of 120k and more than double the average teacher, vs. only 1.35 times in most Cities. We pay for anyone to get a sex change who signs up, healthcare for all, and about $10,000 per homeless person and enough food and shelter for all but they still ask for money for booze and drugs and are everywhere you go littering, you can’t park in certain areas without them saying they don’t have money for food and asking for money when SF pays way more than anywhere else but just doesn’t give cash. We spend way more on bureaucracy and have a huge government full of consultants.

      If San Francisco based their spending on property tax we’d spend 40k per student and have more money left over. The Serrano decision and our attitude towards public schools (most of the rich here use private school so they then push for every liberal cause around but don’t care much about public schools as a liberal cause) cause us to spend, adjusted for cost of living, very little on public education.

  7. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    In Rodriquez the Court determined that the Texas System was constitutional because the System provided adequate funding for every student in Texas to receive a basic education and then allowed local districts to have control over taxation to increase funding above the base. The Court also made note of the fact that funding for all student’s in Texas was within $100 of each other and on that basis the Court ruled that the Texas … Read More

    In Rodriquez the Court determined that the Texas System was constitutional because the System provided adequate funding for every student in Texas to receive a basic education and then allowed local districts to have control over taxation to increase funding above the base. The Court also made note of the fact that funding for all student’s in Texas was within $100 of each other and on that basis the Court ruled that the Texas system did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

    No one can argue that California’s Base Grant is sufficient to provide any student with an adequate education. So every student in a District that is funded only by the base grant is being deprived of their constitutional right to an adequate education.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      Unfortunately that is why it will take a lawsuit in Federal Court to declare California’s new LCFF unconstitutional and force the State to pay for an “adequate” education for every student and only then will the State be able to provide additional funding for the poor and English Language Learners or create more entitlement programs.

  8. Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

    I believe that California's new LCFF needs to be challenged in Federal Court under the Rodriguez Case. Everyone should read the Supreme Court Decision San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez. Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/411/1/ The case defines when it would be appropriate for a Federal Court to review an individual State’s Education Funding System to determine the constitutionality of that system. 1) In Rodriguez the Court specifically stated a law would be determined to Discriminate on the basis of … Read More

    I believe that California’s new LCFF needs to be challenged in Federal Court under the Rodriguez Case. Everyone should read the Supreme Court Decision San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez.

    Source: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/411/1/

    The case defines when it would be appropriate for a Federal Court to review an individual State’s Education Funding System to determine the constitutionality of that system.

    1) In Rodriguez the Court specifically stated a law would be determined to Discriminate on the basis of wealth if all students who, irrespective of their personal incomes, received inadequate funding simply because of where they lived.

    California’s new LCFF law distributes education funding dollars based solely on wealth, race and ethnicity and deprives EVERY student living in a district with less than 55% poor and/or English language learners of an adequate education irrespective of an individual students wealth, race or ethnicity. The important point is that as long as the Base Grant is insufficient to provide an adequate education to every student then under Rodriquez the law would be found to be in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

  9. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Ms. Adams, the Ed Health Student Wellness Report links your article with the title, " State to fight lawsuit over effects of poverty and violence on instructional time." I believe this title is a mischaracterization of the lawsuit as the complaint itself states the opposite: " The time losses suffered at the seven schools are far greater than the prevailing norm in California and are not an inevitable result of poverty or any other condition … Read More

    Ms. Adams, the Ed Health Student Wellness Report links your article with the title, ” State to fight lawsuit over effects of poverty and violence on instructional time.”

    I believe this title is a mischaracterization of the lawsuit as the complaint itself states the opposite:

    ” The time losses suffered at the seven schools are far greater than the prevailing norm
    in California and are not an inevitable result of poverty or any other condition faced by the communities in which these schools are located.”

    Replies

    • Jane Meredith Adams 2 years ago2 years ago

      Hi Don. Thanks for clarifying this. The subject line was a simplification. The effects of poverty and violence on instructional time are not inevitable, as you correctly note from the complaint. But in the eight schools named in the lawsuit -- Jefferson High was added after the complaint was filed -- poverty and violence appear to be the root causes of the trauma and teacher turnover that contribute to the loss of learning time -- which, … Read More

      Hi Don.
      Thanks for clarifying this. The subject line was a simplification. The effects of poverty and violence on instructional time are not inevitable, as you correctly note from the complaint. But in the eight schools named in the lawsuit — Jefferson High was added after the complaint was filed — poverty and violence appear to be the root causes of the trauma and teacher turnover that contribute to the loss of learning time — which, again, is not to say that such a connection is inevitable. The lawsuit goes out of its way to state that many teachers are doing a heroic job of managing in tough situations. I appreciate your careful attention to the language!

    • don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Ms. Adams, the list of schools overtly affected by poverty and violence is long, but the list of schools in the suit is short. That's because, as the complaint maintains, the source of the loss of instructional time has less to do with poverty than it has to do with mismanagement. I would agree that social factors exacerbate the problems even if other schools do a better job of dealing with them when it … Read More

      Ms. Adams, the list of schools overtly affected by poverty and violence is long, but the list of schools in the suit is short. That’s because, as the complaint maintains, the source of the loss of instructional time has less to do with poverty than it has to do with mismanagement. I would agree that social factors exacerbate the problems even if other schools do a better job of dealing with them when it when it comes to instructional time.

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Don, don't you see, this is a plot by the ACLU. First the poor students who behave in poor schools can sue for not being protected by the school. Then if by protecting them that means expelling poorly behaving kids, even if only a few, then they can sue for being expelled. You see, the kids who are kicked out are liberal victims, but then the people they harass and abuse and … Read More

        Don, don’t you see, this is a plot by the ACLU. First the poor students who behave in poor schools can sue for not being protected by the school. Then if by protecting them that means expelling poorly behaving kids, even if only a few, then they can sue for being expelled. You see, the kids who are kicked out are liberal victims, but then the people they harass and abuse and prevent from learning are also liberal victims. All liberal victims are entitled to sue. The only solution will be a mass hiring of security guards at above market rates approved by liberal school boards statewide, creating overpaid jobs for disadvantaged youth. If they kick out kids, those kids sue. If they don’t, the kids they bother sue. So we’ll have to drastically increase security costs to avoid being sued by both groups, just at a time when more tutoring and counseling, which kids really need, is being urged. The powers that be don’t want to close the achievement gap. They want their kids on top, in private school. The study last year that showed private schools provide zero academic advantage over public ones was a threat to the powers that be. They need to stop tutoring and improvement of public schools. They cannot allow poor kids to become middle class and upper middle class save for a few tokens they strictly vet to make sure they completely sell out and won’t step out of line once approved. If more than a handful make it, it disrupts the status quo. Also, trial lawyers and the ACLU will be able to build up their coffers and keep lawyers on staff during a time of a Democratic Presidency so they are in a position to file more lawsuits once Republicans take back thewhite house in 2016 of 2020. It’s all part of the conspiracy. They don’t want to focus on hours studied or tutoring or skills. They want to maintain the status quo. It creates a catch 22 for schools statewide, be sued for expulsions, or conditions resulting from a lack of expulsions, or pay mass security costs instead of actually pay to teach the poor. Either way, we restore inequality which is now being threatened by the proposals for tutoring and the study habits of Asian and some other immigrant groups.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        I agree that it is curious the class only extended to the named schools and their students in perpetuity. I wonder if the state monitoring these schools alone (ie to the exclusion of any others) would suffice as a remedy. That said, I think the title Meredith used was right on. If you read the complaint, note that it is not claiming mismanagement per se, rather a lack of resources and oversight that is disproportionately … Read More

        I agree that it is curious the class only extended to the named schools and their students in perpetuity. I wonder if the state monitoring these schools alone (ie to the exclusion of any others) would suffice as a remedy.

        That said, I think the title Meredith used was right on.

        If you read the complaint, note that it is not claiming mismanagement per se, rather a lack of resources and oversight that is disproportionately required in high poverty etc schools.

        Even on the instruction time issue, the complaint pointed out that these kinds of ‘classes’ exist all over the state, but in more affluent schools they don’t eat into actual learning (for reasons mentioned in the complaint).

        So it’s not that these things exist, it’s that dealing with them requires different behavior (and resources). In that sense, the class group could have been extended to all s&c students, though it wasn’t explicitly. It may, however, have been implicitly via the entire basis for the lawsuit being the disproportionate impact of poverty etc. That may also be exactly why the state responded with ‘LCFF’.

        In that sense, the one quote that this is Williams all over again is probably the most accurate one in there (though Williams used different metrics).

        This complaint is also an excellent argument for the general concept of additional resources being required to provide anything close to equal opportunity for disadvantaged kids.

        • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          Agreed, but it would be nice if they were focused resources and the few kids causing the most trouble could be expelled. This is a case of a few selfish poor people hurting the mass of striving or at least decent poor people. Why isn't this a problem in all poor communities? It's similar to when people storm a store and steal things after the Giants win and after a police shooting. … Read More

          Agreed, but it would be nice if they were focused resources and the few kids causing the most trouble could be expelled. This is a case of a few selfish poor people hurting the mass of striving or at least decent poor people. Why isn’t this a problem in all poor communities? It’s similar to when people storm a store and steal things after the Giants win and after a police shooting. It makes grocery costs go up throughout the neighborhood due to security costs. Frequent shoplifting, riots, robberies and then we hear, why isn’t there a Safeway within miles? Then everyone pays more. Same with the school misbehavior. When a community accepts this kind of behavior and defends it’s worst, they suffer because they end up paying for them. Now they are mad at expulsions, so the quality of instruction goes down as they have to sit there and put up with misbehavior distracting the kids form learning and security costs drowning out funds for tutoring and other services. This lawsuit will result in more security costs and counselors, psychologists and tutors being laid off or never hired. Same with teachers, they defend the worst and many in the public see a bad teacher they had teach their kid and vote against increased funding. 5% of people are just not good in any situation. If the union didn’t support the bottom 5% who aren’t trying and are calling in sick to go to the movies and are mean to parents and kids and don’t work hard, the other 95% would make 15-20% more. If these areas didn’t defend the 5% who are disruptive and demanded their kids, instead of vocally defend the worst behaving kids and young adults and instead demanded that their kids emulate the hardest working in school in their community, even if they happen to be Asian, the other 95% would earn more than double, far more. The 5% who are causing a daily ruckus are too far gone to help anyways. Help the kids who really want to help themselves. Our future depends on it. Forget about people who aren’t doing their best to make things better.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          The more I've read up on this suit the more it is clear to me that it focuses specifically on the 7 schools and not the targeted SC group in general. The lead attorney, Mark Rosenbaum, can be heard speaking about it on a radio program from KPCC through the Cato Institute. He also made this statement for the LA Times: "The kids who go to these seven schools have a set of challenges … Read More

          The more I’ve read up on this suit the more it is clear to me that it focuses specifically on the 7 schools and not the targeted SC group in general.

          The lead attorney, Mark Rosenbaum, can be heard speaking about it on a radio program from KPCC through the Cato Institute.

          He also made this statement for the LA Times:

          “The kids who go to these seven schools have a set of challenges that kids in schools elsewhere could never dream of, let alone confront.”

          The plaintiffs are asking that the state monitor the amount of learning time actually delivered and intervene when it’s not.

          This isn’t directly about ending the achievement gap or other lofty long-term ideals. It’s about what to do at a few schools where you have total systems breakdowns and making them function to prevailing state standards regarding learning time.

  10. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Mr. Ravani, there are many good points in your comment that need no further explanation. I disagree with your final sentence regarding the suit attacking the symptoms rather than the causes. Under the present funding levels, inadequate as they are, the great majority of schools are still able to provide appropriate instructional time. Breakdowns in class scheduling, misassignment of teachers and administrators, lack of courses and the use of noninstructional activities for credit are … Read More

    Mr. Ravani, there are many good points in your comment that need no further explanation.

    I disagree with your final sentence regarding the suit attacking the symptoms rather than the causes. Under the present funding levels, inadequate as they are, the great majority of schools are still able to provide appropriate instructional time. Breakdowns in class scheduling, misassignment of teachers and administrators, lack of courses and the use of noninstructional activities for credit are issues that, while not wholly unrelated to funding, are mainly breakdowns in competent district and school management. Poor implementation is the main problem at these 7 schools, if you believe what the plaintiffs say. If the ACLU could have found 100 or 500 schools with these levels of systemic failure, I suspect they would have as a more widespread list of plaintiffs would not have cost substantially more to prosecute and strengthened the case. That isn’t to say some of these issues are not present at other schools in some shape or form.

    But back to your point about missing the point, the plaintiffs cannot sue the state to raise taxes. They can sue to provide equal opportunity and that’s what they are doing.

    Regarding your comments on Vergara, I don’t recall (I may be wrong) the plaintiffs asking to replace ineffective teachers with TFA recruits. Here you are conflating some corporate reform positions for all reform-minded people, particularly the ones who would like to see union reform. For the unacquainted, you may convince some by portraying Vergara as ushering in an era where we boot out experienced teachers to hire low-paid and low-skilled replacements.

    That there are other issue at schools such as those in Cruz does not make Vergara a hoax. Besides calling it one, you failed to explain why it Is one, in your opinion.

    To the extent that there are issues in training and retaining teachers, this does not nullify the need to replace those teachers who are not competent. If anything, it lends credence to the idea that more poor teachers may be retained inappropriately as a result of the paucity of qualified staff. I guess one could make the case that a crappy teacher is better than no teacher at all. We don’t claim that we should allow incompetent doctors to practice medicine because it is difficult to keep up with the demand for qualified medical practitioners. The difficulties in attracting quality teaching candidates should not preclude dismissing poor quality teachers, though I understand the real economic realities posed by this dichotomy of sorts.

    Replies

    • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

      Actually, there is supposedly a definition of 'quality' somewhere in case precedence. If that's true, it should be possible to sue for increased funding (how this would translate to tax burden is maybe a separate question). If anything, such a suit would make for an interesting discussion about how the 'cost' of education relates to education as a priority and the willingness of citizens to 'pay'. As we know, teachers are already grossly underpaid. Just … Read More

      Actually, there is supposedly a definition of ‘quality’ somewhere in case precedence. If that’s true, it should be possible to sue for increased funding (how this would translate to tax burden is maybe a separate question). If anything, such a suit would make for an interesting discussion about how the ‘cost’ of education relates to education as a priority and the willingness of citizens to ‘pay’. As we know, teachers are already grossly underpaid. Just bringing them up to historical parity would require at least 17% increases (according so some recent local bargaining requests) and that is with the current and significant structural deficit in many if not all school districts. The impact that ‘adequate’ or even increased funding would have on the nature of adequate teacher compensation would be a issue we’ve never been able to test. And that is leaving aside the question of whether we ever want to use a profession-wide increase in compensation as a ‘market lever’ to improve teacher quality (ie assuming that’s what would happen).

  11. Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

    "The lawsuit cites the example of a teacher at Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond who was so overwhelmed by the lack of resources and support that she called 911 from her classroom during the school day “to report she was a danger to herself.” Police escorted her from the classroom. A teacher with no prior teaching experience was hired to replace her, the suit said." A point I have been making for some years now on … Read More

    “The lawsuit cites the example of a teacher at Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond who was so overwhelmed by the lack of resources and support that she called 911 from her classroom during the school day “to report she was a danger to herself.” Police escorted her from the classroom. A teacher with no prior teaching experience was hired to replace her, the suit said.”

    A point I have been making for some years now on this site is that the primary reasons teachers leave certain schools and/or the profession altogether is the above stated quote from a teacher who left the classroom: “lack of resources and support.”

    When teachers leave in this way and are replaced by teachers with little to no experience it becomes the topic of a lawsuit. Except , of course, when many advocates for such lawsuits applaud that the experienced teacher is replaced by a Teach for America teacher who will have both no experience and no real training either. One of those “ironies” I guess.

    This particular set of issues at these schools, if not the lawsuit itself, demonstrates that Vergara is in essence a hoax. Districts will, if Vergara is successful, be more empowered to dismiss experienced teachers at will and replace them with inexperienced teachers.

    If the lawsuit is generally off target (I will address that below) it helps to point up the real education dilemma in CA and the US: We have a problem keeping (and now recruiting) teachers, not a problem dismissing teachers.

    The other real problem facing CA is its status as being among the lowest states in funding per student for K-12 education in the nation. This is because CA does not collect enough in revenue.

    Though the problems widely discussed in some LA schools re lack of classes can be attributed to the total absence of leadership for so many years for which the former superintendent may yet be half accountable, it is also time to give district administrations in most districts a break. They have been working mightily for years, as has the CDE, as have the unions, and particularly as have the teachers, to create classroom lemonade out of the school funding lemons the state has handed them. There is only so much you can do when your funding is 50th, or 49th, or 48th in the nation.

    A recent survey cited on this site re (as I recall) the need for expanded early childhood stated the public “mood:” they strongly supported better opportunities for chidden to access early childhood education and they just about as strongly rejected new taxes to pay for those early childhood classes. The public has been gulled for over 50 years that CA doesn’t need to pay more taxes, Prop 13 being the primary culprit here, by the wealthy and business interests and for just as long have demanded high levels of services from varying state agencies. That is cognitive dissonance of the worst kind. Prop 30 has been the first indication that this long dark period of self-delusion may be cracking a bit. We shall see. But until the public recognition of being manipulated by the “malefactors of great wealth” comes to pass we shall continue to see lawsuits like the one detailed above that attacks symptoms and not the actual problem.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      The Average Schedule Salary in the Capistrano Unified School District 212-13 was $78,827 for 183 days of service http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/cs/documents/j90summary1213.pdf This July they added three more steps to the salary schedule – many of our teachers are making above $85,000 per year in Salary for 183 days of service. http://cusdjobs-capousd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1235192779485/1235193542262/8335350407942739878.pdf - See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/12/18/teacher-pay-raises-gobble-up-prop-30-lcff-funds/#sthash.CAv3ZsAV.dpuf Comparing the $78,000 salary at 36 weeks to a person who works 46 week a year would mean teachers in my District … Read More

      The Average Schedule Salary in the Capistrano Unified School District 212-13 was $78,827 for 183 days of service

      http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/cs/documents/j90summary1213.pdf

      This July they added three more steps to the salary schedule – many of our teachers are making above $85,000 per year in Salary for 183 days of service.

      http://cusdjobs-capousd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1235192779485/1235193542262/8335350407942739878.pdf – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/12/18/teacher-pay-raises-gobble-up-prop-30-lcff-funds/#sthash.CAv3ZsAV.dpuf

      Comparing the $78,000 salary at 36 weeks to a person who works 46 week a year would mean teachers in my District are making about $100,000 per year just in salary.

      The teachers in my District are not grossly underpaid.

      The District keeps raising compensation for employees and uses furlough days, class size increases and deferred maintenance to pay for the increases. By 2021 when Jerry Brown has placed the increased CalSTRS contributions on Districts over 100% of the Districts budget will be salaries, pensions and benefits.

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      Gary stated: "The other real problem facing CA is its status as being among the lowest states in funding per student for K-12 education in the nation. This is because CA does not collect enough in revenue." I disagree Gary- The State has record high revenues but chooses to keep creating new entitlements rather than pay for education. The elected representatives of this State are choosing not to spend resources on Education and if the funding is … Read More

      Gary stated: “The other real problem facing CA is its status as being among the lowest states in funding per student for K-12 education in the nation. This is because CA does not collect enough in revenue.”

      I disagree Gary-

      The State has record high revenues but chooses to keep creating new entitlements rather than pay for education. The elected representatives of this State are choosing not to spend resources on Education and if the funding is going to be so low then employees should not expect any further salary increases in the future.

      • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Dawn is 100% right. California is #4 in total tax revenue after the Tri-States, NY, NJ and CT. We choose not to spend more on education for several reasons. One is that so many Californians, 92% of whom went to public school or over 95 for part of their education, have had a bad teacher and have seen them protected to an extreme, so it makes them reluctant to vote for more … Read More

        Dawn is 100% right. California is #4 in total tax revenue after the Tri-States, NY, NJ and CT. We choose not to spend more on education for several reasons. One is that so many Californians, 92% of whom went to public school or over 95 for part of their education, have had a bad teacher and have seen them protected to an extreme, so it makes them reluctant to vote for more funding which will mostly go to salary increases without reforms in the 11 absences a year policy and the difficulty to fire bad teachers. My prediction is that if Vergara is upheld and truly implemented as policy, we will see faster than inflation salary increases. Many voters simply won’t vote for significantly higher salaries without absence and job protection being on the table in return, as this system really hurts many children, including my own in several cases.

        Dawn is also right that we spend more on welfare and state health plans than other states. We also spend more on police and prisons, with 1 in 3 black men spending some time in prison, most for nonviolent offenses. We could reduce this by doing what Europe does, legalize or decriminalize most drugs and prostitution, have an age of consent of 16 as most European Nations do, legalize gambling, and reduce draconian sentences. You don’t have to legalize 3d strikes but we could say if the 3d strike is minor, it’s 5 years, not 25. We could let go violent offenders past the age of 70 in return for good behavior to give hope and spend less on security guards for prisoners with nothing to lose. In Europe, sentences don’t go past 30 years, but here we have some in prison for 50-60 years with no hope, and often it’s simply vindictive, such as one of the Manson girls in a wheelchair dying of cancer not being released to her family. We’ve become more punitive than any nation on earth and it costs us a great deal of money.

        We choose to believe only property taxes at a set limit can be spent on education, but some districts spend other funds. Anything we cut, the giant bureaucracies, prisons, police, welfare, could be spent on the UC and State and JC systems and on K-12 Education and quality universal preschool. We all make a choice, and in my opinion, the wrong one.

        These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Re the subject of how much CA pays in taxes and, therefore, how much it can pay to support the schools it is necessary to look behind the superficialities. CA tax revenues are now the highest they have been this decade, but in dollars adjusted for inflation they are not the highest "ever." And a good part of the reason they are as high as they are is Prop 30, which obviously raised taxes, as well … Read More

        Re the subject of how much CA pays in taxes and, therefore, how much it can pay to support the schools it is necessary to look behind the superficialities.

        CA tax revenues are now the highest they have been this decade, but in dollars adjusted for inflation they are not the highest “ever.” And a good part of the reason they are as high as they are is Prop 30, which obviously raised taxes, as well as an improving economy.

        CA has the second highest percentage of students living in poverty in the nation behind only Florida, CA, of course, has a higher number. It is generally acknowledged that educating needy students, in order to level the playing field, requires more spending. Lower class sizes are particularly noted for having a high positive impact on the achievement of needy students. Needless to say CA has some of the highest class sizes in the nation and doesn’t spend “more,” as compared to to other states so we don’t “level any educational playing fields.” LCFF is an effort, but it’s basically a more moral and equitable way to underfund education. The exception to this “rule” is in basic aide districts which are exclusively in high wealth areas. Educational achievement in these high wealth areas matches that of any high achieving area in the nation in ACT, SAT, college attendance, etc.

        It is commonly bandied about the CA has the “4th highest tax rate in the nation.” By itself that statement is meaningless. Specifically speaking, tax revenue “as a percentage of personal income:” corporate taxes are 4th and state individual taxes are 6th. High? Until you get to total state and local income taxes: 10th. Local by itself: 23. State and local sales: 19th. Motor fuels: 22. Tobacco: 46. Alcohol: 42. And then there’s the “biggy,” property taxes (that fund most state school systems) where CA ranks 24th in the nation. And CA, on a per square foot basis, has some of the most expensive real estate in the nation. So CA can’t fund the school system like “most other state school systems.” CA, when all revenue sources are accounted for is a moderate tax state, around 15th overall, while have a cost-of-living second only to Hawaii.

        [Tax data collected by CA Budget Project based on 2010-2012 US Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis.]

        Another couple of ways to look at the situation is that CA is the 9th biggest economy, state GDP taken by itself, in the world and the wealthiest, taken in per capita personal income (PCPI), in the nation: CA PCPI $47,115/US average PCPI $43,905. CA (2012-13) spent 3.18% of PCPI on its schools while the average for the rest of the US is 4.04% That’s a 27% difference! CA does not collect a reasonable amount of tax revenue based on PCPI, a very realistic bas line to compare state spending. That’s what puts us at #50 or #49 or# 48 (for the quibblers) in spending per child for K-12 education.

  12. Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

    This is one "public good" lawsuit that I support, because it addresses specific, objectively verifiable, causal problems that are common in middle and high schools. (Vergara, by constrast, rests on assumptions and generalizations, and is short on specific, verifiable, causal claims.) In my view, the judge's temporary restraining order, and whatever consent decree will eventually be negotiated, cannot possibly go far enough. Policy changes in staffing and scheduling; an effective monitoring system; and an effective complaint mechanism … Read More

    This is one “public good” lawsuit that I support, because it addresses specific, objectively verifiable, causal problems that are common in middle and high schools. (Vergara, by constrast, rests on assumptions and generalizations, and is short on specific, verifiable, causal claims.)

    In my view, the judge’s temporary restraining order, and whatever consent decree will eventually be negotiated, cannot possibly go far enough.

    Policy changes in staffing and scheduling; an effective monitoring system; and an effective complaint mechanism are all necessary.

    If more monitoring is ordered, it will doubtlessly be done by county offices of education, which means that it will be just as ineffective as the existing certificated assignment monitoring system. COE and school district senior staffs are too close for this to work.

    Complaints, as with Williams, will go through local districts, which is a fox-guarding the henhouse arrangement. A state agency with investigation and enforcement powers should receive complaints, so that there can be no soft-pedaling.

    An issue that is never addressed in these cases is individual responsibility. The employees — mostly managerial — who made, knew of, and covered up the scheduling and staffing decisions mentioned in the lawsuit should be disciplined according to the disciplinary frameworks of their contracts, of district policy, and/or of school board discretion. Discipline should be up to and including termination if the inappropriate decisions were routine, ongoing practices.

    Guidance counselors who produced bogus student schedules need to go.

    Vice-principals and principals who didn’t appeal for more teaching positions need to go.

    Assistant superintendents who refused requests for more teachers need to go.

    Superintendents who knew of the charade but kept on feeding glib, “managing to the numbers” reports to their boards need to go.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      Paul, maybe Vergara has some imperfections but it is obvious to anyone with more than one brain cell that with $40k going to a known molester (Mark Berndt) and 9 teachers a year being fired statewide not including resignations, that the system was stacked in favor of a bad teacher and not the children being hurt by a bad teacher. It's hard to come up with a lawsuit with perfect arguments, admitted, but we … Read More

      Paul, maybe Vergara has some imperfections but it is obvious to anyone with more than one brain cell that with $40k going to a known molester (Mark Berndt) and 9 teachers a year being fired statewide not including resignations, that the system was stacked in favor of a bad teacher and not the children being hurt by a bad teacher. It’s hard to come up with a lawsuit with perfect arguments, admitted, but we sane folk were desperate for something. Remember it was obvious 30-40 years ago that the system allowed bad and sometimes terrible teachers to remain on the job, and whenever you talk about this with a union supporter you hear horror stories about bad principals who will come in and sexually harass people, favor their friends and how test scores can be inaccurate. However, you don’t hear about people like my son, who was in a class where 22 of 22 sets of parents wanted the teacher out, and she missed over 130 days of 180 for multiple reasons, was seen in cafes on days she called in sick, and the other teachers who were union reps and union were fighting for her like she was a good person deserving that job as much as anyone else and hurting no one. They didn’t care about the children being hurt. Trust me, she was treated as a noble cause. A teacher at my kid’s middle school already fired for an inappropriate incident liked a porn clip with hundreds of kids following him on Instagram just this year, and he got transferred not fired. These are just a few, there are atrocious teachers who have been on the job for decades.

      So please, let it go if there is an assumption. They have tried to conduct science, but it is very expensive and anyone who can help resists such studies and makes them harder to carry out. One showed a 700k lifetime income increase from a good vs. bad teacher in elementary school, lifelong over the entire classroom. That’s huge, what is the economic good of one job? 70k? However, it’s zero because someone else would do that job and probably for more money, as if some teachers were fired sometimes, public support for raises would rise and supply and demand would require more recruiting as these people who are part of supply would be ineligible for rehire, so you would have to pay more just as when cops with too many complaints started being fired, pay went way up for those left in the profession.

      You focus too much on minutiae.

      I agree there are other ways to do it, but there was absolutely zero indication that the union or legislature had any plans to change this in the absence of a lawsuit like Vergara. You act like if this didn’t happen, the powers that be would have found another intellectual way to fix it, but I don’t think so. Brown wouldn’t even support a way to make it easier to fire sex abusers, and the legislature was intimidated out of doing so by the union when they brought it up, so what would make you think they planned to make it easier to fire merely unproductive or overly absent teachers soon?

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      I think most teachers are doing a good job Gary, I just don't think the job should guarantee a job for life. You should have to earn keeping your job year in, year out, with pressure. You should worry about calling in sick when not sick, vacation is different from the 11 days. With 184 work days, you should be able to be close to 100% barring serious illness. The culture … Read More

      I think most teachers are doing a good job Gary, I just don’t think the job should guarantee a job for life. You should have to earn keeping your job year in, year out, with pressure. You should worry about calling in sick when not sick, vacation is different from the 11 days. With 184 work days, you should be able to be close to 100% barring serious illness. The culture needs to be more results-focused. No one applauds, but it did hurt my child when a teacher stayed on all year because of the rules you champion as necessary to avoid arbitrary dismissal. The issue is, if a job is guaranteed, some will take advantage and call in sick when not sick, and my child was victimized by this. This teacher wasn’t any of the things you say would be horrible if they were fired, she was just not trying and wasn’t showing up. I only think a very few teachers are this bad and can’t change, but they exist, and your rules assume they don’t. Or you care more about the idea one decent teacher could be fired than that 100 kids could be poorly taught. I just want balance. For instance there are probably more who get away with crime than there are unjustly convicted people in prison, but you worry about both and there is a balance. We have to balance both concerns equally. How many teachers are unfairly fired vs. how many kids are poorly taught? Right now the balance tilts towards poorly taught children.

      The teacher who was a danger to herself was probably scared because she couldn’t suspend anyone. The kids may have been harassing her. I know it’s better now but when I was in school I saw teachers brutally harassed by schoolchildren, and you could get suspended then. Now I’m afraid it will go back to as it was before with no enforcement mechanism, even though culturally it has declined.

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      CA has the second highest percentage of students living in poverty in the nation behind only Florida, CA, of course, has a higher number. That is because California keeps adding entitlements to attract low income - uneducated people. Why do they value people who have nothing to offer but need much. Most States/Countries have policies that encourage well educated people/business that will attract and create wealth and not be a drain on society. Why is my … Read More

      CA has the second highest percentage of students living in poverty in the nation behind only Florida, CA, of course, has a higher number.

      That is because California keeps adding entitlements to attract low income – uneducated people. Why do they value people who have nothing to offer but need much. Most States/Countries have policies that encourage well educated people/business that will attract and create wealth and not be a drain on society.

      Why is my tax money going to people from another country who are uneducated and poor and require a ridicuclus amount of resources? Especially when my child’s education and quality of life suffers as a result.

      I feel that California hates its legal residents and only sees them as a check book. My child’s education suffers as a result of these policies and to be frank these policies do not help the poor and educated that the STate imports which is why the “GAP” never closes.

      How stupid are the legal residents of California to sacrifice their own children for such stupid thought processes. We have now proven that the path that California is on in Education and business is flawed. How much worse can we get? 50th out of 50? Why don’t we just open our borders completely and promise to educate the world with only the top 1% living in California paying for it? See how long other peoples money lasts… is everyone just less educated than I thought?

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Two things, Dawn. First, if there were test questions you had to get correct based on what I wrote on CA's tax situation, which controls CA's school spending situation, you would "struggle" to put it mildly. It appears you only feel the need to skim lightly over the surface of key information which leaves your "conclusions" on relentlessly thin ice. Or, like some ideologues, you can't deal with ideas that are incongruent with your preconceptions. The … Read More

        Two things, Dawn.

        First, if there were test questions you had to get correct based on what I wrote on CA’s tax situation, which controls CA’s school spending situation, you would “struggle” to put it mildly. It appears you only feel the need to skim lightly over the surface of key information which leaves your “conclusions” on relentlessly thin ice. Or, like some ideologues, you can’t deal with ideas that are incongruent with your preconceptions. The New Year is coming, time for a few resolutions.

        Second, re your statements about the poor. It’s Christmas. Think about it.

        • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          I must defend Dawn here. Gary, we are #4 in tax revenue total as a % of GDP. That includes all. In Nevada and Hawaii and Alaska it's decent due to tourism and natural resources, but in all other states, they tax less and get less. We pay a lot, not just income, the chart includes sales tax, property tax, everything. It's a total. Regarding the poor, I respect … Read More

          I must defend Dawn here. Gary, we are #4 in tax revenue total as a % of GDP. That includes all. In Nevada and Hawaii and Alaska it’s decent due to tourism and natural resources, but in all other states, they tax less and get less. We pay a lot, not just income, the chart includes sales tax, property tax, everything. It’s a total. Regarding the poor, I respect the poor who do their best or make a reasonable effort to improve. I don’t respect people who study 5.6 hours a week and watch TV or play video games over 40 or let their kids think doing so is OK. That is the average Californian now, and if you behave that way you don’t have the right to ask for a hand out. You deserve a hand up, not a hand out, which is why I don’t feel sorry on Christmas for people whose kids studied under 300 hours in the past year and spent over 2000 watching TV and playing games. That’s a hand out, not a hand up. We need to reverse those figures. If every child studied over 1000 hours a year, or even 750, the Asian American average, and stayed married and worked hard at their job and said no to drugs, there would be virtually no poverty in this State. That’s not too much to ask. If you want my sympathy on Christmas you have to earn it and make an effort. I empathize with those who try, not those who don’t. We are last in education because in our culture barely trying has become socially acceptable, as has abandoning your children. Dawn is right about that. Christmas is a cop out. Working long hours when you have kids is less noble because you have to to survive. Working hard when a child, when you have a choice, in school, shows more moral character.

  13. FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

    Yes Don, it is about this. Why do you think these are all at bad schools? The disruptive conditions are forcing them to expend valuable resources babysitting extreme trouble makers. Read the following, between the lines: "disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education. The lawsuit claims that some students are enrolled in multiple classes during which they receive no instruction, that some spend … Read More

    Yes Don, it is about this. Why do you think these are all at bad schools? The disruptive conditions are forcing them to expend valuable resources babysitting extreme trouble makers. Read the following, between the lines:

    “disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education.

    The lawsuit claims that some students are enrolled in multiple classes during which they receive no instruction, that some spend hours in security lockdowns, and that teachers and students are reeling from the trauma of violent shootings around campuses..

    There wouldn’t be security lockdowns and violent shootings and disruptive conditions if they were able to expel the 5-10% of kids who cause all the problems. Did you ever see ‘Lean on Me’ with Morgan Freeman? The first thing he did was to throw out all the extreme troublemakers. Now, do do so gets you labeled a racist and there are policies that willful defiance is OK, so the school, unable to expel anyone, becomes more like a prison with a need for more resources to go for prison guards AKA security guards and more teachers to act like guards with more of their time and energy.

    The irony of this is that it is a con job by the supposedly liberal ACLU to guarantee more of their lawyers are able to receive big bucks to fight both sides. As soon as we establish that these conditions make liberal victims out of the studious kids and schools lose millions of dollars for these conditions, they will start expelling the children causing this problem. Then inevitably, one of these expelled children will join a gang and be killed, or just be upset about being kicked out, and they, the cause of the other lawsuit, will file their own $450 an hour per lawyer ACLU lawsuit that they are a liberal victim. Hence, the worst, most thuggish kids are simultaneously causing liberal victims to suffer damage that must be paid for by taxpayers, and are liberal victims whose suffering must be covered by taxpayers.

    Therefore they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Either way, they end up losing millions, which is what the status quo wants anyways. Money tutoring kids might cause some to compete for jobs with the kids of the rich $450 an hour lawyers. They don’t want that. They want the money which could go to tutors to go to across the board raises and multimillion dollar class action settlements. One side feels they are entitled to an education without violent harassers and the other feels they are entitled no matter what. Either way, we get stuck with millions and millions of dollars in lawsuits. It’s all a conspiracy.

    And the beat moves on. Yay status quo!

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

      Floyd is right about work ethic. People who are “successful” are so because they work hard. The only profession that rewards people for the number of years they have worked rather than their performance is the education system.

      • Shripathi Kamath 2 years ago2 years ago

        Kim Kardashian is successful because she works hard?

        • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          Shripathi, you have to look at tendencies over large numbers of people and proportions. Those with 4-year degrees earn over double what those who just go to high school earn. Do some dropouts make billions? Yes. There are exceptions. People win the lottery or can sing or throw a ball or hit a baseball or act or start a great business. Nepotism is a problem as well. However, you … Read More

          Shripathi, you have to look at tendencies over large numbers of people and proportions. Those with 4-year degrees earn over double what those who just go to high school earn. Do some dropouts make billions? Yes. There are exceptions. People win the lottery or can sing or throw a ball or hit a baseball or act or start a great business. Nepotism is a problem as well. However, you go with the odds. Asian kids study 2.5 times the hours white kids do, 60% of Asian parents prep their kids for Kindergarten vs. 16% of white kids, and 3.7 times as many make UCs, with Indian Americans dominating recent spelling bees and Asian Americans dominating academic awards and facing discrimination in Ivy League Admissions. As a child, I heard predictions that they would crack due to the pressure at some point, but stats show higher performance in college than whites, higher performance in grad school and higher income, as well as higher happiness during their careers and in old age. The negative from working hard never comes. Hard work on the job makes you more money too in most professions not based on seniority. Bosses notice, you get more responsibility, promotions, etc. Are there some morons who play the media and make some money? Sure, but in the late 1800s and early 1900s, more made it as actors. Now we have a few athletes and movie stars and celebrities, but you can’t count on that. You can count on working hard and getting an education. Should Kim Kardashian being a rich privileged idiot make our kids study less and try to be like her? I think not! Should it justify inaccurate seniority as a basis for pay and lay offs? No way!

  14. Former Pathfinder 2 years ago2 years ago

    I worked at Fremont, and left when the district assigned us a lemon principal. A few years later the district reconstituted it and drove away many of the fine teachers I had worked with. They reconstituted it again a few years later, when they realized they had only made the situation worse. All the disastrous choices that have driven away good teachers who would have had the heart to stay will not be fixed by … Read More

    I worked at Fremont, and left when the district assigned us a lemon principal. A few years later the district reconstituted it and drove away many of the fine teachers I had worked with. They reconstituted it again a few years later, when they realized they had only made the situation worse. All the disastrous choices that have driven away good teachers who would have had the heart to stay will not be fixed by yet another lawsuit. It takes good faith, patience and trust in your teachers to run a school, not reconstitutions and lawsuits.

  15. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    The suit alleges that problems have not be resolved over years and has passed beyond the Williams UCP. The complaint is long but here is a portion of it: 47. At Plaintiffs’ schools, the amount of time devoted to meaningful learning—that is, time during which a qualified teacher delivers instruction necessary to meet state-mandated academic standards to students who are present in class—comprises only a fraction of the hours that school is in session. Several interrelated factors divert substantial … Read More

    The suit alleges that problems have not be resolved over years and has passed beyond the Williams UCP.

    The complaint is long but here is a portion of it:

    47. At Plaintiffs’ schools, the amount of time devoted to meaningful learning—that is,
    time during which a qualified teacher delivers instruction necessary to meet state-mandated
    academic standards to students who are present in class—comprises only a fraction of the hours
    that school is in session. Several interrelated factors divert substantial classroom time away from
    content-delivery in Plaintiffs’ schools including, but not limited to the following:
     assignment of students to administrative tasks or free periods instead of assignment to
    classroom periods of instruction because of insufficient curricular offerings and a lack of
    available qualified teachers;
     violence or security disruptions, which result in cessation of instruction and traumatic aftereffects,
    and insufficient access to mental health professionals to assist students and faculty
    in coping with these disruptions;
     late changes to the master course schedule requiring course and teacher changes well into
    the semester;
     unstable, transient teaching faculties and administrative teams (including principals,
    assistant principals, and counselors), resulting from under-resourced and stressful campuses
    not conducive to professional development and growth; and
     unaddressed student absenteeism, resulting in whole or part from campus conditions.

    This is a multifaceted suit that is not easily summed up. But a few points:

    1. Even the best run districts have trouble manning classes with qualified personnel. Is the state liable when qualified candidates cannot be retained? A district cannot prevent teacher changes, but they can ameliorate it if they have better working conditions.

    2. Why are service-type classes allowed at all in school? In SFUSD students often “work” in the office doing various duties. School personnel are more than happy to have the help, but this isn’t what students are in school for.

    3. I think the plaintiff should have left out the violence component of the suit. This is far beyond the scope of public education to resolve and adds an element that is entirely different in nature from the other specific complaints about lose learning time.

    It is also interesting to note that the plaintiffs are citing the 14th Amendment as follows:

    “Whether the Defendants’ practices or absence of practices which deny, and sanction and
    fail to correct the deprivation of, meaningful instructional time in accordance with the
    prevailing statewide standard violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
    Constitution by maintaining a system of public schools that does not provide equal access
    to basic educational services to Plaintiffs without regard to economic status;…”

    I guess this provides an avenue for appeal at the federal level.

    Is the LCFF system that awards funding based on SES or language “equal access”?

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      Don, I agree with your general point. This is a genuine conflict between two separate goals. In San Francisco we are now hearing how horrible it is for the poor kids to be suspended or expelled for willful defiance. The issue is selfishness. When you are willfully defiant, you are hurting 30 people and not really helping yourself, though maybe it is therapeutic for some kids with poor character who derive … Read More

      Don, I agree with your general point. This is a genuine conflict between two separate goals. In San Francisco we are now hearing how horrible it is for the poor kids to be suspended or expelled for willful defiance. The issue is selfishness. When you are willfully defiant, you are hurting 30 people and not really helping yourself, though maybe it is therapeutic for some kids with poor character who derive a sick thrill from being disruptive, it is not the kind of happiness which lasts or is meaningful.

      So you get two liberal goals in conflict. Never suspending or expelling kids and accepting poor behavior is a liberal goal in terms of trying to work with all. However, I feel that most kids who are acting this poorly are unfortunately past the point of recovery. In a desperate last ditch effort to get them back, we are sacrificing the other 30 kids in the class and making them suffer. These are kids who may graduate from college and have a future. You are also teaching that the priority is the troublemaker, which encourages that type of behavior. You’re trying to appease the worst children, and the result is often the same as when you try to appease Hitler. It simply doesn’t work. So in most cases this horrible child becomes a loser anyways, but you turn some of the other 30 kids into failures when they could have been successes.

      I say, cut your losses with the persistent troublemakers. I’m not saying never give a 2d or 3d chance, but if a child is being willfully defiant they are making a personal decision that their own need for therapeutic healing is more important than the education of 30 other children, which will render them unable to work in jobs requiring selflessness, teamwork, sacrifice and cooperation. They need to learn to submit for the common good and to suppress the selfish needs of their own for the far more important communal needs of the group. It’s called growing up.

      So the liberalism of the few is destroying the liberalism of the many, the liberalism of giving a good education to poor children who really truly wish to learn and prove it by their personal character, dedication and sacrifice.

      This lawsuit really pits these contradictory forms of liberalism against each other.

      If the lawsuit succeeds, we will have to look at the common good and what creates the best society overall. You can’t try so hard to appease one bad kid that you as a result harm many good ones. Those who wish to learn have a right to do so in safety and with respect and dignity. Those who need therapeutic help don’t have the right to hurt dozens of children for their own selfish emotions. The studious yet quiet have rights. They have dignity and humanity, and the attack from the status quo conservative oppressive element may not come from teachers with low expectations or oppressive macrostructures but may come from other children who are more selfish and harming their rights.

      These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        The suit is about lost learning time and equal opportunity. Your comment has nothing to do with the lawsuit. Do you even read the articles before you comment?

    • TheMorrigan 2 years ago2 years ago

      "Is the LCFF system that awards funding based on SES or language 'equal access'?" Because the funding is also contingent on school climate, access to credentialed teachers, and ensuring "all" classes prepare students for college or career, there is an avenue for "equal access" here. However, please do not think that I agree or disagree with the lawsuit or whatever. Read More

      “Is the LCFF system that awards funding based on SES or language ‘equal access’?”

      Because the funding is also contingent on school climate, access to credentialed teachers, and ensuring “all” classes prepare students for college or career, there is an avenue for “equal access” here. However, please do not think that I agree or disagree with the lawsuit or whatever.

    • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

      When access is otherwise denied disproportionately for those students, then yes.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Navigio, LCFF does not provide grant funding beyond the base because of various types of access issues, like the ones litigated in this suit. SC grants are based, as you know, on membership in one of the three groups without regard to other factors. Clearly, some significant percentage of kids within these groups do suffer lesser access and the suit makes sense for that reason. But they are not one and the same and … Read More

        Navigio, LCFF does not provide grant funding beyond the base because of various types of access issues, like the ones litigated in this suit. SC grants are based, as you know, on membership in one of the three groups without regard to other factors. Clearly, some significant percentage of kids within these groups do suffer lesser access and the suit makes sense for that reason. But they are not one and the same and the suit should not provide a remedy for all students who happen to be in one of the three groups. For that matter, there are students not in any one of the three groups who suffer from lack of access – to qualified teachers, for example.

        I don’t think the defendant’s contention that LCFF needs to play out holds water. If LCFF allocated funds based upon lack of access then it might, but then the State would be admitting it violates the constitutional requirement of equal educational opportunity.

        If Cruz succeeds will be interesting to see if the court appoints an overseer. I suspect it would because the LCAP is clearly not up to the task. If it were up to it the suit might not be necessary. If supporters think the end result will be billions more for disadvantaged public school students, I think they’ll be disappointed.

        Paul, thank you for providing an excellent living example of just how poor oversight really can be and how these inequities play out in real time. While collaboration is the theme of LCFF, the government has to answer to the state Constitution and good will and cooperation alone doesn’t meet a fiduciary responsibility of that order.

        Also, Paul, in regard to your first comment, some of the allegations are clear cut, but others are not. Violence and trauma as they affect schools have no straightforward fix like teacher misassignment, scheduling problems or the non-instructional use of student service minutes. The costs to assign credentialed counseling professionals for all students within this class who suffer from socio-economic and familial problems would be astronomical.

        Floyd, there are some recalcitrant students within the class of students identified in this suit, no doubt. I do agree that there are some students for whom we spend way too much money considering the cost incurred upon the rest of the students. But as pertains to this suit, most of these kids would like to be able to succeed in school and have every right to expect to receive an equal opportunity to do so.

        • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

          Both parties agree that these student classifications correlate strongly with the realities of lack access. The plaintiffs by claiming unequal access based on race, income and language, and the state by claiming LCFF diverts additional revenues to just those students. So I don’t think it’s relevant here whether the correlation is not 1.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            You know, Navigio, that race-based funding is prohibited by federal law. I didn't read the entire complaint but I read a good deal of it. It is very specific list of plaintiffs and members of the class action, which includes all present and future students at only these 7 schools until resolution. I didn't see anywhere (though I might have missed it) that the suit claims to act on behalf of all students … Read More

            You know, Navigio, that race-based funding is prohibited by federal law.

            I didn’t read the entire complaint but I read a good deal of it. It is very specific list of plaintiffs and members of the class action, which includes all present and future students at only these 7 schools until resolution.

            I didn’t see anywhere (though I might have missed it) that the suit claims to act on behalf of all students who are recipients of SC grants or even anything remotely like that. In fact, to the contrary, it said:

            21. The time losses suffered at the seven schools are far greater than the prevailing norm
            in California and are not an inevitable result of poverty or any other condition faced by the communities in which these schools are located. To suggest that it is impossible to provide these
            children with an equal education would be to demean the children enrolled at these schools, who
            depend on their education to have a bright future, and the committed education professionals
            working in these schools, who devote their professional lives to the success of their students.

            Note that it says “not an inevitable result of poverty”. I think you’re reading into it, Navigio, though California’s legal system does allow for a precedent to support further litigation.

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              The suit doesn't claim to act on behalf of undups and I didn't say it did. That, however, did not stop the state from trying to use increased funding via LCFF for just those students as a defense that things would get better (not me passing judgement, just stating that the two sides seem to have accepted the student demographic criteria here). Also, LCFF isn't technically 'race-based funding' though there clearly is a correlation. … Read More

              The suit doesn’t claim to act on behalf of undups and I didn’t say it did. That, however, did not stop the state from trying to use increased funding via LCFF for just those students as a defense that things would get better (not me passing judgement, just stating that the two sides seem to have accepted the student demographic criteria here). Also, LCFF isn’t technically ‘race-based funding’ though there clearly is a correlation.

              I expect the reason the suit explicitly mentioned ‘not an inevitable result of poverty’ et al, is that in Williams, part of the state’s defense was exactly this. The state didn’t try to reject the claims in that case, rather accepted them and tried to argue instead that it didn’t matter. Obviously that didn’t go too well.

  16. George Buzzetti 2 years ago2 years ago

    Forgot to tell you this. On Oct. 28, 2014 at an LAUSD Committee Meeting LAUSD illegally arrested me by perjured testimony from Tamar Galatzan, LAUSD Board Member and Asst. L.A. City Attorney, Barbara Jones, former L.A. Daily News education reporter and major staffer for Galatzan and by LAUSDPD Detective Rudy Perez. They signed that the objectionable calls were definitely my voice. Amazingly enough when a million people heard the two voices on … Read More

    Forgot to tell you this. On Oct. 28, 2014 at an LAUSD Committee Meeting LAUSD illegally arrested me by perjured testimony from Tamar Galatzan, LAUSD Board Member and Asst. L.A. City Attorney, Barbara Jones, former L.A. Daily News education reporter and major staffer for Galatzan and by LAUSDPD Detective Rudy Perez. They signed that the objectionable calls were definitely my voice. Amazingly enough when a million people heard the two voices on national talk radio not one person thought it was me. Only highly trained law enforcement thinks it is me. Then when I have the top in the world voice analysis by one of their approved people suddenly I cooked the voice analysis. Actually, the D.A., who for the first time in history is prosecuting a misdemeanor, never before in L.A., and the D.A., Jackey Lacey, is personally involved in this case as of last April when her office did not want to know of this situation after sent to the D.A. Public Integrity Division and LAPD PID also along with Kamala Harris, California Attorney General. And then L.A. School Report states, with no verification, that in that letter I call Chief of LAPD Beck a BIGOT. When that did not work it was a largely distributed email which no one has in which I stated this.

    When you have major fraud and you hold the documents that sink them legally they do whatever to suppress you. This is called a SLAPP action which is to prevent you from communicating by filing useless suits and legal actions. This is Federally and State malicious and vexatious prosecution and against the Brady Rule and all legal standards. We are a lawless country and in no way do the people have anything to say now about what happens. As a result of my, CORE-CA and others who want the PEOPLE to once again rule as we are supposed to be able to do in our best interests. I have found no one doing real work of investigation and putting together the facts on the line. We have a group here in L.A. who does that and now they are going after everyone.

    Reverend Pinkney, in Benton Harbor, the first city taken over with the city manager game, was just again prosecuted and convicted without any evidence of 30-120 months in prison for daring to recall the crooked mayor of Benton Harbor which is really run by the Maytag Corporation. This is classic Fascism in which corporations and government become one. Austria was the first to do this in 1919. Read “Hapsburgs to Hitler” by Gulick in 1948 published by both the Oxford and Berkeley Presses. Then you will know exactly what is going on now here. Why not use a proven plan that has worked since 1919 in a so called Western Country.

  17. George Buzzetti 2 years ago2 years ago

    I have been doing deep research on school districts going back 10 years in 3 of the most populous counties in California. LCFF is precepted on Counties and local districts being accountable without the need of state oversight. What a joke that is in the real world. In all of these counties the County Offices of Education commonly do not care if students do not come to school everyday and 3-4 years … Read More

    I have been doing deep research on school districts going back 10 years in 3 of the most populous counties in California. LCFF is precepted on Counties and local districts being accountable without the need of state oversight. What a joke that is in the real world. In all of these counties the County Offices of Education commonly do not care if students do not come to school everyday and 3-4 years in a row have large red ink. They do not even know the difference. Just look at the Centinela High School Districts $1,000,000/year superintendent for only 4 schools and 6,700 students with one leaving. Then you have to look at one of the elementary feeder districts with an 850 API and 36% of students not in school everyday and another elementary feeder district having 25% not coming to school everyday. This is the difference between the Enrollment and ADA numbers taken from the CDE website. No one does the homework. Adults tell students to do their homework and complain when the do not and when the adults who received their education have to do their homework, no, a large thick drink and a stogie is at hand along with American Idol for insanity to the situation. Real work, UnAmerican. We don’t work, We are like the old Romans in its height of depravity. What is the real difference between “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Amerika?”

  18. el 2 years ago2 years ago

    At the high schools, shouldn’t these issues have come up via WASC credentialing? If the issues are known, maybe the problem isn’t lack of oversight but a lack of solutions/remedies. Are the causes of these issues alleged to be the same at all these schools?

  19. Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

    As part of the Williams settlement didn't the state fund the county offices of education to perform additional oversight of districts? The state also increased school funding as part of the Williams settlement. With this case the state has already preemptively increased school funding with LCFF. So I think this case is a lot less clear than Williams because there needs to be a legal determination of what failed. Did counties … Read More

    As part of the Williams settlement didn’t the state fund the county offices of education to perform additional oversight of districts? The state also increased school funding as part of the Williams settlement. With this case the state has already preemptively increased school funding with LCFF. So I think this case is a lot less clear than Williams because there needs to be a legal determination of what failed. Did counties drop the ball on oversight? Is LCFF too slow in increasing funding?

    Replies

    • Jane Meredith Adams 2 years ago2 years ago

      You're right that, as part of the Williams settlement in 2004, the state funded county offices of education to perform additional oversight of the districts. The issues monitored in Williams are, as you know, textbooks, credentialed teachers and safe facilities. So counties have not been asked to monitor the Cruz issue of meaningful instructional time -- whether students at high-poverty schools are receiving the same amount of meaningful instructional time as students at other schools. … Read More

      You’re right that, as part of the Williams settlement in 2004, the state funded county offices of education to perform additional oversight of the districts. The issues monitored in Williams are, as you know, textbooks, credentialed teachers and safe facilities. So counties have not been asked to monitor the Cruz issue of meaningful instructional time — whether students at high-poverty schools are receiving the same amount of meaningful instructional time as students at other schools. As in Williams, Cruz is asking for a state monitoring system. And it seems the state is making the argument you raise — that additional funding through LCFF hasn’t been given a chance to work. Also, it’s interesting to note that the Williams requirements are written into LCAPs as part of the eight state priorities.

      • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

        It seems as if I'm missing out on understanding some type of technical definition used in education law. Consider the following: "The lawsuit states that at the high schools named, instead of attending classes to meet graduation and college entrance requirements, the students are assigned to many periods of “home,” “service” or “library” classes that have no academic instruction." I think using the expression "no academic instruction" is a fine way to describe the situation, but … Read More

        It seems as if I’m missing out on understanding some type of technical definition used in education law. Consider the following:

        “The lawsuit states that at the high schools named, instead of attending classes to meet graduation and college entrance requirements, the students are assigned to many periods of “home,” “service” or “library” classes that have no academic instruction.”

        I think using the expression “no academic instruction” is a fine way to describe the situation, but given the names of the periods I assumed another good way to describe the situation is that there are no teachers to teach the students. So I would expect Williams could at least speak to this most egregious situation. Is there a loophole where the Williams settlement only looks at the percentage of teachers that are credentialed, but ignores the fact that there are not enough teachers? Or is there some definition of teacher where a teacher doesn’t have to provide academic instruction? Sorry if these questions are pedantic, but it seems as if I may not even know the right question to ask.

        • Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

          Paul Muench, you are correct about "certificated assignment monitoring". County offices of education are responsible for checking that (non-charter) classrooms are staffed by teachers with credentials appropriate to their assignments. In a departmentalized (6-12) setting, this definitely requires awareness of the master schedule. Title I schools in the bottom academic decile receive the strictest scrutiny. But... 1. Monitoring was suspended during the financial crisis. 2. County office and school district executives must maintain gentlemanly relationships, not unlike the … Read More

          Paul Muench, you are correct about “certificated assignment monitoring”. County offices of education are responsible for checking that (non-charter) classrooms are staffed by teachers with credentials appropriate to their assignments. In a departmentalized (6-12) setting, this definitely requires awareness of the master schedule. Title I schools in the bottom academic decile receive the strictest scrutiny.

          But…

          1. Monitoring was suspended during the financial crisis.

          2. County office and school district executives must maintain gentlemanly relationships, not unlike the relationships between college/university executives and members of accreditation visitation teams. Incisive criticism is risky: if you criticize a peer, she will repay you in kind when it’s her turn.

          3. School district executives lie. I experienced this more than once at Monterey Peninsula Unified, an example of a low-performing, hard-to-staff, financially-strapped district.

          One year, I opened a classroom on a substitute permit, the only document I had at the time. I watched two credentialed hires come and go; one lasted only a day. When my 30 days were up, I was begged to stay, on my substitute permit.

          The following year, I took over a classroom when the teacher went on leave. By that time, I had satisfied the requirements for an internship credential, but MPUSD preferred not to request one, and to use my substitute permit instead. The incumbent soon decided not to return. I was again implored to stay past 30 days. My successor, who had a substitute permit and was not qualified for any credential, served the remaining half of the year.

          I later checked the SARCs. MPUSD failed to report:

          – a classroom opened without a regular teacher at the start of the year (definition of teacher misassignment)

          – a substitute not substituting for an incumbent teacher (a no-no according to the CTC “Administrator’s Assignment Manual”)

          – a classroom staffed by a series of substitutes (definition of misassignment)

          – a classroom staffed by a teacher without an appropriate document (substitute in same classroom > 30 days) (definition of misassignment; illegal, for the district; for the substitute, a breach of the CTC ethical code)

          The series-of-substitute year saved MPUSD over $10,000 in wages, $7,500 in medical benefits, $3,000 in sick leave benefits, and $800 to $3,000 in pension contributions. Need I say more?

          • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

            Paul,

            I saw this CDE webpage that lists county oversight funding by year:

            http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/williamscase.asp

            The program seems to be continuous. Can you provide more details on the monitoring being suspended?

            • Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

              Hi, Paul Muench. "The Lord giveth and he taketh away." Certificated assignment monitoring funds became flexible in January, 2009, affecting at least the second half of the 2008-2009 fiscal year and school year. Under SBX3 4 §15(d), districts were automatically deemed compliant. The monitoring mandate was restored in July, 2009, after the start of the 2009-2010 fiscal year! See ABX4 2 §15(e)(4). This is precisely the sort of "musical chairs" legislation that Californians enjoyed during the financial crisis. It takes … Read More

              Hi, Paul Muench.

              “The Lord giveth and he taketh away.”

              Certificated assignment monitoring funds became flexible in January, 2009, affecting at least the second half of the 2008-2009 fiscal year and school year. Under SBX3 4 §15(d), districts were automatically deemed compliant.

              The monitoring mandate was restored in July, 2009, after the start of the 2009-2010 fiscal year! See ABX4 2 §15(e)(4).

              This is precisely the sort of “musical chairs” legislation that Californians enjoyed during the financial crisis.

              It takes time for legislative changes to be circulated, and then for agencies to amend budgets, rehire staff and restore functions. What’s more, this particular change probably went unnoticed for quite some time in many places, because the closely-related and much more visible textbook sufficiency mandate was never fully restored.

        • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

          I have documented in great detail how the new LCAP does not provide any oversight for students. The Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County received $8.24 million in new LCFF money. Before the LCAP was even in place the District used $5.62 million to restore salaries from the 2010 teachers strike then the District proceeded to give students 3 furlough days and increase class sizes by 1.5 students across all grades.- so much for … Read More

          I have documented in great detail how the new LCAP does not provide any oversight for students. The Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County received $8.24 million in new LCFF money. Before the LCAP was even in place the District used $5.62 million to restore salaries from the 2010 teachers strike then the District proceeded to give students 3 furlough days and increase class sizes by 1.5 students across all grades.- so much for parent in-put and any oversight from the Orange County Department of Education. We are currently working without a new contract but the budget that was adopted this summer changed class sizes and employee compensation. I keep asking the District how they are able to do that and I get no response. I have asked it probably four or five times at Board meetings on the record. NOTHING but silence.

          Source: July 24, 2013 Public Disclosure of Collective Bargaining Agreement presented in a Memo from Clark Hampton, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Support Services to Trustees re: USE OF ADDITIONAL FUNDING FROM 2012-2013 TO 2013-2014 AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT 2013- 2014 http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1343191429797/5667737573387975994.pdf at page 3

          • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

            I wonder whether districts realize that instructional furlough days reduces LCFF grant funding.

            • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

              Can you explain this to me? How do instructional furloughs reduce the base grant? Also – it is interesting that starting in 2015 all Districts must have 180 days- so I will be curious to see what could possibly be cut in my DIstrict to keep up with even the projected COLAS

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              Number of pupils and average daily attendance determines state apportionments. Obviously, if there are less days than there would be less funding, though I believe that the 180 day requirement was relaxed during the Great Recession.

            • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

              No, this is on top of ADA. Part of the LCFF code says that if districts provide less instruction they get docked funding. It’s referenced from the Cruz complaint where they point out the folly of LCFF improving things for these kids (because tgat ed code requires the state to reduce funding not increase it). I’d reference it but in a cell at the moment.

            • FloydThursby1941 2 years ago2 years ago

              Don, if this is true, will San Francisco lose money because we shut down the schools due to the storm, or will the kids have to come in one last day the Tuesday after Memorial Day?

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