Alison Yin for EdSource Today

In its first statement on a critical issue facing school boards, the California Department of Education cautioned that under the state’s new funding formula, only in “some limited circumstances” can school districts use money that’s supposed to be spent on services for low-income children and English learners for across-the-board pay raises for teachers.

The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,” since it should be spent increasing programs and services for those students, wrote Jeff Breshears, administrator for the education department’s Local Agency Systems Support Office. Breshears’ carefully worded, four-page letter was sent April 15 to Jim Yovino, superintendent of the Fresno County Office of Education, in response to Yovino’s inquiry.

The California Teachers Association partially disagrees with the guidance, though it appears that many local unions have not challenged the state’s position in local negotiations.

The letter comes at a critical time. Districts are in the final stages of drafting their second annual Local Control and Accountability Plans, or LCAPs, in which they are required to detail goals, actions and spending on eight priority areas the Legislature mandated in passing the Local Control Funding Formula. At the same time, school boards and employee unions are negotiating what in many districts will be the first pay increases in a half-dozen years.

Next year, districts are projected to receive an average of about $1,000 per student in additional money under the funding formula. That is projected to be the biggest one-year funding increase to K-12 schools since the creation of Proposition 98 in 1988. Districts will face pressure from teachers unions and children’s advocacy groups in deciding how to divvy up money between pay raises for staff and restoring and expanding programs in the classroom.

Next year, districts are projected to receive an average of about $1,000 per student in additional money under the funding formula.

Under the funding formula, all districts receive a uniform base amount of funding per student. They also receive supplemental funding for every English learner, low-income and foster youth, plus extra “concentration” dollars when those students make up at least 55 percent of a district’s students. The combined extra money produces about 40 percent funding above the base level per student – and tens of millions of dollars – for a district like San Bernardino Unified, in which high-needs students make up nearly all of the students.

Yovino was the one who made the inquiry: Under what conditions can any of the supplemental and concentration dollars go toward raises for all teachers? But the question has come up repeatedly this year throughout the state, said Peter Birdsall, executive director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, which represents the state’s 58 county superintendents.

Narrow exceptions

The short answer, according to Breshears, is that using supplemental and concentration dollars would not be permitted, because a general raise for all teachers is “paying more for the same level of service,” not an increase or an improvement.

“In some limited circumstances,” however, a district could assert that uncompetitive pay levels harm education for high-needs students by making it hard to attract and retain teachers, Breshears wrote. In that case, a district’s LCAP would have to include evidence comparing teacher turnover rates and pay levels with other nearby districts to show that high-needs students have been disproportionately affected by low pay, justifying using supplemental and concentration dollars to augment salaries.

That’s not all. State law and State Board of Education regulations require districts in which more than 55 percent of students are English learners and low-income students to verify in their LCAPs that a pay raise would be “an effective” strategy in improving services for high-needs students. Districts with fewer than 55 percent high-needs students would face “an extreme if not impossible” burden of arguing that a pay raise would be the “most effective” strategy in improving education for the targeted student groups, Breshears wrote.

In subsequent years, districts would have to update their LCAPs to document, through supporting data, whether the money for raises helped achieve the specific goals “within a reasonable time.” If not, then the district should stop using supplemental and concentration dollars for a pay increase and choose another use. A county superintendent could withhold approval of the LCAP for failure to comply, Breshears wrote.

However, the funding law does allow other options involving compensation, Breshears wrote. Supplemental and concentration money could fund a longer school day or pay teachers involved in programs specifically for English learners or low-income children, but these expenses must be aligned to one of the priorities in the LCAP, such as improving student engagement or raising student achievement.

CTA: Raises permissible

The California Teachers Association interprets the law differently. The Local Control Funding Formula was created to give maximum flexibility to school districts, and that includes creating competitive salaries to reduce teacher turnover, said Claudia Briggs, communications assistant manager for the CTA.

“We believe the law is clear: The money can be used to attract and retain quality teachers in the classroom, to lower class sizes and to restore programs that were cut,” said Briggs. And she said the CTA disagrees with the education department’s position that districts cannot use supplemental dollars for across-the-board raises if fewer than 55 percent of the students are English learners and low-income children.

“All control dollars are sent with no strings attached to suit the best needs of students. So if the percentage is below 55 percent, districts can absolutely still use those funds” for pay raises, she said.

But two nonprofit organizations that had argued to the state board that it should adopt tight restrictions on the use of supplemental and concentration dollars said Breshears got it right in his interpretation.

This guidance follows what the Legislature and state board intended in writing the Local Control Funding Formula law and regulations, and provides counties “direction as they engage in the review and approval process,” wrote Samantha Tran, senior managing director of education policy for Children Now, in an email.

“The letter tracks closely our analysis of how to analyze supplemental and concentration spending,” said John Affeldt, managing attorney of Public Advocates, a legal advocacy firm that is heavily involved in state education policy.

So far, not a point of contention

Two lawyers whose firms together handle contract negotiations for hundreds of school districts said that for the most part local teachers unions have not pressed to use supplemental and concentration money for across-the-board raises. Louis Lozano, principal of the firm Lozano Smith, said he had expected unions to be more aggressive on the issue. He said he was aware of no districts that were deadlocked because of disagreements on the use of supplemental and concentration dollars.

Gregory Dannis, president of the San Francisco law firm Dannis Woliver Kelley, said, “In the majority of districts, unions are not taking issue, at least outwardly,” with the position that base dollars are what is available for pay raises. In contracts he has negotiated, supplemental dollars have paid for stipends for teachers to work extra time in schools with targeted students, more professional development days, reduced class sizes beyond the required 24-to-1 student-teacher ratio for K-3 grades and additional counselors to serve high-needs students. One district, which he declined to name, is at an impasse because the teachers union wants across-the-board raises without increased or improved services, he said.

Breshears’ letter has not been widely circulated, although it was discussed at length last month at a workshop of administrators from county offices of education, said Kathryn Catania, deputy superintendent of the Fresno County Office of Education. County offices are responsible for approving districts’ LCAPs and are creating uniform approaches for reviewing them, Catania said.

Birdsall cautioned that Breshears’ letter provides general advice; the circumstances for using supplemental and concentration dollars will vary among districts. Noting that most of Fresno County’s districts are poor and rural, a couple of districts have asked whether they could include the cost of gasoline in their salary schedules using supplemental dollars, to compete with urban districts that pay more, Catania said.

Several studies of first-year LCAPs found that many districts failed to document how much supplemental and concentration funding they received. They also didn’t detail how they planned to spend the money and didn’t distinguish between ongoing programs and improved and expanded services. County offices of education eventually approved every LCAP, granting leeway for districts that were creating new plans in a compressed time frame. The State Board of Education has since then revised the LCAP template and regulations, making it easier to read and document how supplemental and concentration funds will be used.

Districts are required to state in their LCAPs how much additional supplemental and concentration funding they are getting and how high-needs students will benefit from it. If districts use that money for pay raises and don’t report that in the LCAP, Affleldt said county offices and the public will be able to spot the discrepancy because the numbers won’t add up.

Both Affeldt and Luzano predicted that the focus of pay negotiations with teachers in the coming year will be on the $4 billion in discretionary dollars, outside of funding for the Local Control Funding Formula, that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing for K-12 schools next year. Brown is encouraging districts to use the money to further implement the Common Core and new science standards. But districts can use the money – technically repayment for past state-mandated costs – however they want. Because it is one-time funding, vulnerable to cuts if state revenue drops, Affeldt and Luzano cautioned against using it to make multi-year salary commitments.


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  1. Richard Wilmuth 9 months ago9 months ago

    Accounting for an across the board salary increase using LCFF supplemental funds with LCAP could be a time-consuming nightmare.
    Are across the board benefit cost increases going to be allowed too? Think about LCAP accounting for that? This better get sorted out soon.

  2. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    "The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,”". I've yet to understand what is this "heavy burden"? Should a district not comply with the intent of the law, the letter of which seems written to give the districts maximum flexibility in determining use of SC dollars, what is the consequence? Ask yourself this: Why was special education left out of the … Read More

    “The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,””.

    I’ve yet to understand what is this “heavy burden”? Should a district not comply with the intent of the law, the letter of which seems written to give the districts maximum flexibility in determining use of SC dollars, what is the consequence?

    Ask yourself this: Why was special education left out of the LCFF? The strict legal compliance framework of special education would not comport with the loose, nonbinding “requirements” of SC grant funding.

    Unless the legislature goes back to the drawing board and creates a strict legal framework with compliance structures, every district will use the funding as it sees fit as loosely described in each LCAP.

    Replies

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      'heavy burden' refers to the difficulty of justifying increased across the board raises as primarily benefiting unduplicated students in an 'additional' way, and not the consequences of not complying. The consequences of not complying are the same for anything in the LCAP: rejection of that document and, by extension, that district's budget. It is true a COE may be less willing to reject an LCAP based on minor infractions as compared to major ones (this … Read More

      ‘heavy burden’ refers to the difficulty of justifying increased across the board raises as primarily benefiting unduplicated students in an ‘additional’ way, and not the consequences of not complying.
      The consequences of not complying are the same for anything in the LCAP: rejection of that document and, by extension, that district’s budget. It is true a COE may be less willing to reject an LCAP based on minor infractions as compared to major ones (this probably counts as the latter, as apparently did LAUSD’s special education use last year, though that was eventually ok’d).
      The LCAPs I saw last year didnt define anything, let alone ‘justify’ anything. It will be interesting to see if they do so this year. They are due in a few weeks…

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        If you hire teachers to lower class sizes for SC target students/undups, (don't like that term) do you have to justify why the base grant funding pays for it? No. Like I said in another comment on this thread - "...since some SC grant monies are used to hire more teachers specifically for SC target student purposes and because salaries are negotiated districtwide, it follows that base grant funds are used to pay increased wages … Read More

        If you hire teachers to lower class sizes for SC target students/undups, (don’t like that term) do you have to justify why the base grant funding pays for it? No. Like I said in another comment on this thread – “…since some SC grant monies are used to hire more teachers specifically for SC target student purposes and because salaries are negotiated districtwide, it follows that base grant funds are used to pay increased wages for specific SC grant programs.”

        There’s great variability in the exercise of this law. In LA they apparently walk all over the intent the SC grants. In SFUSD they think the base grant is an unrestricted pool to use to fund SC target students above and beyond the intent.

        Serrano established that all students should be treated equally per California Constitution when poor districts demonstrated lack of equity. LCFF seems to turn it on its head (as Dawn has described) and established that rich districts can now be treated unequally. The fundamental flaw of LCFF and Revenue Limits to a lesser extent before it, imho, is the fact that money goes to districts based upon head counts, total, sped, SC, etc., but the districts are under little direct obligation to allocate the funding those students generated to said students.

        Maybe I’m taking this logic down a different path from the conversation at hand. Nevertheless, the tension over how LCFF money will continue unless the law has defined boundaries. Loosely defined laws are laws bogged in the courts.

        • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

          actually, you do have to justify it, but its simply a lot easier because the fact that you’re disproportionately assigning resources to those students shows that happening. That is of course different than it actually being a benefit. That you would arguably have to show after the fact, but we’ve never done this before, neither in SPSA’s or LEA Plans.

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            Explain, please, how you have to justify it?

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              Are you saying that claiming to increase funding as outlined in the LCAP is justifying it? There's no process in place to determine whether the claimed increase was real. And even if it is real on a districtwide basis, why should that suffice? If a ABCUSD has 10 Title One schools and half see proportional SC fund increases, does anyone care that the other half didn't? Does that loose definition of compliance fly … Read More

              Are you saying that claiming to increase funding as outlined in the LCAP is justifying it? There’s no process in place to determine whether the claimed increase was real. And even if it is real on a districtwide basis, why should that suffice? If a ABCUSD has 10 Title One schools and half see proportional SC fund increases, does anyone care that the other half didn’t? Does that loose definition of compliance fly as long as some lesser proportion of SC students received the funding? Does it not matter that the actual head counted for district purposes doesn’t see a penny of SC funding that head generated as long as it goes to some of those three groups?

              Regarding teacher compensation, if only the base grant can go to pay for increased teacher compensation, as some would like, then who is paying a premium for the additional teachers hired with SC funding at low performing schools? All the non-SC students. Honestly, I don’t think the Brown, Kirst or the legislators had any idea of what they created in LCFF. Or, if they did, apparently they were content to sit back and watch the gladiators fight over it in the arena of the local control. This is what poverty is in the new America- fighting over scraps.

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Yes. Increasing services (ie allocating more funding) is sufficient as ‘justification’ in the LCAP for districts that are over 55% or schools over 40% of unduplicated pupils (for either targeted or district- or school-wide uses).
              However, beneath these thresholds justification also means ‘proving’ that across-the-board uses are the most effective use of funds for unduplicated pupils.
              See CCR 15496

            • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

              And those proofs are what, exactly, in, for example, LAUSD?

            • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

              Well, LAUSD as a district is over the 55% threshold, so it wouldnt need to 'prove' anything related to best use for district-wide programs anyway. (Last year it was challenged, but it was on how they were defining unduplicated students when they assigned s&c grants to special education. If memory serves, I believe they succeeded in convincing the COE that the overlap between the two is so great that it was justified). Furthermore, very few … Read More

              Well, LAUSD as a district is over the 55% threshold, so it wouldnt need to ‘prove’ anything related to best use for district-wide programs anyway. (Last year it was challenged, but it was on how they were defining unduplicated students when they assigned s&c grants to special education. If memory serves, I believe they succeeded in convincing the COE that the overlap between the two is so great that it was justified).
              Furthermore, very few schools in LAUSD are under the 40% threshold, so even at the school level it would probably not need to prove this. Note that LAUSD does actually dedicate some s&c funds to ‘school-wide’ uses, but many of these are then targeted at unduplicated students via how schools are classified (eg needs index, reed schools, span schools, etc.)
              If you’re looking for me to weigh in on how a district might measure the effectiveness of a program, I expect they’d use the standard mixture of test scores, climate surveys, retention and attendance rates, etc. However, it will almost always be impossible to prove ‘most effective’ as you can’t prove a hypothetical alternative was less effective if you didn’t actually implement it. The letter seems to recognize that by suggesting that if such a program seemed not to be working after it were tried, it could be abandoned at that point.

  3. Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

    If my District Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County California had the $200 million dollars per year that we are legally entitled to under the Free School Guarantee of the California Constitution, money that the State of California withholds from us then under local control we would have the power to make things better for students in our District. However- if the State keeps the money and only passes down the responsibility then there … Read More

    If my District Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County California had the $200 million dollars per year that we are legally entitled to under the Free School Guarantee of the California Constitution, money that the State of California withholds from us then under local control we would have the power to make things better for students in our District. However- if the State keeps the money and only passes down the responsibility then there is no real local control and the only recourse taxpayers have is to tax themselves again for the same service or to pull their child from public school and pay for private school – also a second tax for the same service. It is the State’s obligation to provide EVERY student with a basic education. This law is unconstitutional because it discriminates against ALL students who happen to live in a wealthy area on the basis of wealth, race and ethnicity, irrespective of an individual students wealth, race and ethnicity (simply because of where they happen to live) Outrageous!

  4. Paul Muench 1 year ago1 year ago

    Much of the discussion during the passage of LCFF was around how supplemental and concentration funds could be spent on teacher salaries. I don't remember a clear resolution to that question. I'm curious what has been learned since the passage of LCFF that could make a decision easier now. I assumed the decision was deferred to give unions a chance to negotiate higher salaries for the first years of the program and … Read More

    Much of the discussion during the passage of LCFF was around how supplemental and concentration funds could be spent on teacher salaries. I don’t remember a clear resolution to that question. I’m curious what has been learned since the passage of LCFF that could make a decision easier now. I assumed the decision was deferred to give unions a chance to negotiate higher salaries for the first years of the program and perhaps add more explicit restrictions later. At least that made political sense.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      You are correct- All that has been restored in my District is employee compensation. All Prop 30 did was fund public employee unfunded pension liabilities. 80% of Pro 30 moneys went to salaries pensions and benefits. Students have received nothing except higher paid teachers after all is said and done. This program was nothing but a scam on the California tax payer and just another way to re-distribute wealth. How sad that our elected leaders … Read More

      You are correct- All that has been restored in my District is employee compensation. All Prop 30 did was fund public employee unfunded pension liabilities. 80% of Pro 30 moneys went to salaries pensions and benefits. Students have received nothing except higher paid teachers after all is said and done. This program was nothing but a scam on the California tax payer and just another way to re-distribute wealth. How sad that our elected leaders have so little regard for students of legal residents. They keep denying a basic education to the students of tax paying legal residents in order to fund new entitlement programs for illegal residents which brings more illegal residents that need more entitlements. At what point should California taxpayers say enough. Revenue must be spent to educate EVRY child- not just the poor ELL or Foster Kids. If 92% of a School Districts budget is currently employee compensation (even after an early retirement incentive) and now Jerry Brown expects Districts to pay 10% of the total budget for CalSTRS and CalPERS contributions I can tell you with certainty that my child’s school district will never recover. We have no hope of restoring programs, reducing class sizes or fixing our old and failing facilities. We have average class sizes of 34 – 36, most schools at capacity, and absolutely no money to fix our facilities or build new ones. This punishment of taxpayers has to stop. Look at the UC System who is using my tax money to subsidize out of State Students and denying access to California students. Look at the Cal Grant system which now provides public money to citizens of other countries and makes our students have to compete against the world for use of their parents tax money just to get a college education. This ridicules new Funding Law when all is said and done will make everyone equally uneducated and equally unprepared for a job in a technical field. California’s math standards are the worst in the nation and failing to meet the basic Common Core STandards of 3 years of math and the completion of Algebra 2 proves that.

  5. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    Please note that the letter from Mr. Breshears appears to be advisory in nature. The actual intent of LCFF will need to be clarified by the legislature and/or the courts in all likely hood. That being said it is also pointed out that no unions appear to be trying to encroach on the "protected" funds. This gets to the conundrum of asserting there needs to be improved "program and services" to targeted students that does not … Read More

    Please note that the letter from Mr. Breshears appears to be advisory in nature. The actual intent of LCFF will need to be clarified by the legislature and/or the courts in all likely hood. That being said it is also pointed out that no unions appear to be trying to encroach on the “protected” funds.

    This gets to the conundrum of asserting there needs to be improved “program and services” to targeted students that does not include the teachers (or other certificated personnel: librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists) that fall under the “teachers contract.”

    Then there is the balance that needs to be maintained between lowering class-size and maintaining the certificated teaching force. If a district does no maintain comparable compensation and benefits with local (and competitive) districts it will do little good to try and reduce class size if you are bleeding teachers at a high rate. This will shortly be a problem compounded by the teacher shortage discussed elsewhere.

    And all of theses issues can be traced back to CA’s abysmal school funding. It appears that new revenues may (may!) bring CA’s funding per student to the national average in unadjusted dollars. In dollars adjusted for cost-of-living the state will still hover in the bottom third of the states. Not much to brag about in the world’s ninth biggest economy and the wealthiest state in the union.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Gary- What if your District is receiving little or no "protected funding". Can all the base funding grant go to employee compensation leaving a community with the responsibility of fundraising or taxing themselves to make up the difference between the Base Funding Grant and the actual cost to provide a basic education? It would be my sincere hope that the Federal Government be asked to weigh in on the Constitutionality of a State funding … Read More

      Gary-

      What if your District is receiving little or no “protected funding”. Can all the base funding grant go to employee compensation leaving a community with the responsibility of fundraising or taxing themselves to make up the difference between the Base Funding Grant and the actual cost to provide a basic education?

      It would be my sincere hope that the Federal Government be asked to weigh in on the Constitutionality of a State funding law that fails to provide EVERY student with a basic education, and in fact was designed to intentionally set the base grant so low that any District with a low percentage of ELL, the Poor and/or Foster kids is being deprived of their right to a “basic” education. No student in the Capistrano Unified School District is receiving the education that they are entitled to – especially the poor, the Foster Children and the ELL in our District and there is no over site what so ever.

      There is not a lack of revenue at the State level- in fact California has a $6 billion windfall. The problem is that our legislators have forgotten that the only thing that they are Constitutionally obligated to pay for is a K-12 public education and a State militia. If they would like to change the constitution then they should do so with the support of the people. However- what they do not have the right to do is deny my child a basic education simply because I live in a wealthy area.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Dawn: You say: "It would be my sincere hope that the Federal Government be asked to weigh in on the Constitutionality of a State funding law that fails to provide EVERY student with a basic education…" What you are talking about is called "adequacy" of funding. There have been a number of school "adequacy lawsuits" successfully filed in a number of states forcing those states to revise their funding systems. This often includes raising taxes! A … Read More

        Dawn:

        You say: “It would be my sincere hope that the Federal Government be asked to weigh in on the Constitutionality of a State funding law that fails to provide EVERY student with a basic education…”

        What you are talking about is called “adequacy” of funding. There have been a number of school “adequacy lawsuits” successfully filed in a number of states forcing those states to revise their funding systems. This often includes raising taxes! A couple have been filed in CA in recent years, but they have not gone much of anywhere.

        Recall the bulk of new revenues coming to the state will indeed go to the schools based on Prop 98. The analysis I’ve seen suggests this may bring the state’s school spending per student to near the national average. That’s in dollars not adjusted for cost-of-living. In dollars adjusted for cost-of-living CA will remain far below the national average.

        The latest analysis I’ve seen (and trust) suggests CA’s per capita (which includes more than income and sales taxes) taxes rank about 12th in the nation in dollars unadjusted for cost-of-living. When adjusted for cost-of-living per capita taxes rank around 30th in the US. CA ranks #2 in the US (behind only Hawaii) in cost-of-living and has some of the highest housing costs in the nation.

        All of this helps explain why CA has difficulty supporting schools. If you object to these circumstances you should fully support reenactment of Prop 30, this time on a permanent basis, and a full reform of Prop 13 which is the real culprit in CA’s revenue poor funding system.

        BTW: The world neither begins nor ends at the boundaries of the Capistrano District. This constitutes a timely reminder to those in the SF and LA districts also.

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      Actually, the legislature already weighed in: it wrote/passed the law. Regardless, the letter is not merely 'advisory' in the sense that says something irrelevant; rather it is a warning that a reasonable interpretation (unless one assumes the state superintendent's office doesn't understand education law) of the law would force a COE to reject a district's LCAP on this basis alone. (of course, I doubt COE's even look at LCAP's let alone reject them based on … Read More

      Actually, the legislature already weighed in: it wrote/passed the law.
      Regardless, the letter is not merely ‘advisory’ in the sense that says something irrelevant; rather it is a warning that a reasonable interpretation (unless one assumes the state superintendent’s office doesn’t understand education law) of the law would force a COE to reject a district’s LCAP on this basis alone. (of course, I doubt COE’s even look at LCAP’s let alone reject them based on nuances that are unlikely to be specified in an LCAP anyway, but that’s a separate discussion).
      I am surprised that you say that no unions are trying to encroach on these funds. The CTA has a statement in the article saying this use is legal (actually that any use is legal because the funds come without strings).
      I also have to disagree with you on the ‘conundrum’. The letter doesn’t say you cant use these funds for salaries at all, just that you cant do it for across-the-board increases. Targeted increases that improve/increase programs and services are explicitly given the OK in the letter. There is no conundrum unless you assume the only valid increase is across-the-board raises.
      While it is true a balance between class sizes and teacher compensation exists, LCFF has a grant specifically to lower class size (at least k-3 and only down to 24 (fake number anyway)). And since that grant is considered part of the base used in calculating the supplementals, lowering class sizes further than the specified 24 seems like an intended directive. Regardless, that ‘balance’ looks very different for a teacher and their union than it does for a community member. It will continue to look that way as long as teachers are vilified and contract negotiations are not subject to ‘normal’ transparency. It will continue to look that way as long as no one understands what the ideal tradeoffs are and instead only get the polarized versions of ‘realities’.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Navigio: Taken from above article: "Two lawyers whose firms together handle contract negotiations for hundreds of school districts said that for the most part local teachers unions have not pressed to use supplemental and concentration money for across-the-board raises. Louis Lozano, principal of the firm Lozano Smith, said he had expected unions to be more aggressive on the issue. He said he was aware of no districts that were deadlocked because of disagreements on the use … Read More

        Navigio:

        Taken from above article: “Two lawyers whose firms together handle contract negotiations for hundreds of school districts said that for the most part local teachers unions have not pressed to use supplemental and concentration money for across-the-board raises. Louis Lozano, principal of the firm Lozano Smith, said he had expected unions to be more aggressive on the issue. He said he was aware of no districts that were deadlocked because of disagreements on the use of supplemental and concentration dollars.”

        Yes, LCFF has provisions for “lowering” class size to 24. That is up from the 20:1 of CSR prior to “flexibility.” I’m not aware of hiring practices that allow personnel allocations that are as precise as you suggest. New personnel would be hired under the uniform salary schedule and, whatever their compensation, it would fall under collective bargaining. That does make it a conundrum on how, as some of the “community activist” suggest, to target personnel and their compensation in quite a narrowly defined way without regulations, like QEIA, to enable it.

        Then we get to classes at the 4-12 grades that remain the largest in the nation. And there it is all about balancing class size with keeping compensation on a parity with local and comparable districts.

        • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

          Regarding Class Size: See: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/4316232143675230130.pdf On March 30, 2015 The Capistrano Unified School District entered into a contract for the period July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015 (Yes the dates are correct) Class sizes as follows: Transitional Kindergarten 30.5 students to 1 teacher Kindergarten 30.5 students to 1 teacher Grades 1- 5 31.5 students to 1 teacher Grades 6-8 32.5 students to 1 teacher Grades 9 - 12 34.5 students to 1 teacher This is the same class sizes as the … Read More

          Regarding Class Size:

          See: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/4316232143675230130.pdf

          On March 30, 2015 The Capistrano Unified School District entered into a contract for the period July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 (Yes the dates are correct)

          Class sizes as follows:

          Transitional Kindergarten 30.5 students to 1 teacher
          Kindergarten 30.5 students to 1 teacher
          Grades 1- 5 31.5 students to 1 teacher
          Grades 6-8 32.5 students to 1 teacher
          Grades 9 – 12 34.5 students to 1 teacher

          This is the same class sizes as the previous contract no reduction in class size see from the old contract to the new contract http://www.cuea.org/information_v2/ContractToJun2013.pdf at page 19

          Class size Maximums new contract:

          Transitional Kindergarten 33:1 (2013-14 and 2014-15); 32:1 (thereafter)
          Kindergarten 33:1 (2013-14 and 2014-15); 32:1 (thereafter)
          Grades 1-3 32:1
          Grades 4-5 33:1
          Grades 6-8 35:1
          Grades 9 – 12 36:1

          Class size maximums actually increased under the old contract:

          Kindergarten Old Contract 32:1 New Contract 33:1 up by 1
          Grades 1- 3 Old Contract 33:1 New Contract 32:1 down by 1
          Grades 4 -5 Old Contract 33:1 New Contract 33:1 same
          Grades 6 -8 Old Contract 35:1 New Contract 35:1 same
          Grades 9 -12 Old Contract 36:1 New Contract 36:1 same

          So is the District complying with the goal of 24:1? No But Teachers got their $4,084 million in compensation increases as the Budget that was passed last July 2014 stated they would. So explain how the District was able to pass a 2014- 15 budget without having employee contracts in place and now magically 10 months into the 2014-15 school year they pass a teachers contract that magically matches the budget that was passed 10 months ago??????????

          • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

            The contract only specifies a maximum. The district may make decisions that cause real sizes to be lower, so whether they are complying with 24:1 cant be determined from the contract. There is a 15% supplement to the base grant for any district that complies with 24:1 (or is on track to). That supplement can still be received even if it does not comply and the union agrees to allow it. Again, a contract is … Read More

            The contract only specifies a maximum. The district may make decisions that cause real sizes to be lower, so whether they are complying with 24:1 cant be determined from the contract.
            There is a 15% supplement to the base grant for any district that complies with 24:1 (or is on track to). That supplement can still be received even if it does not comply and the union agrees to allow it. Again, a contract is not where that information would be found.
            I’m kind of surprised that the LCAP does not include an explicity class size reduction worksheet/datasheet.
            In the old days, the only way to get something reasonably close to a measure was from the SARC, but that data was usually years behind the times, and horribly inaqequatly defined. Even dataquest hasnt been collecting this data for a number of years now.
            Again, COE. 🙂

        • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

          '"All control dollars are sent with no strings attached to suit the best needs of students. So if the percentage is below 55 percent, districts can absolutely still use those funds" for pay raises, she said.' I guess we can just disagree on why she bothered to say that. (interesting location of quotes, btw....). Correct, targeted teaching personnel, just like QEIA would be a way to achieve that. Any other targeted service that requires personnel would also … Read More

          “All control dollars are sent with no strings attached to suit the best needs of students. So if the percentage is below 55 percent, districts can absolutely still use those funds” for pay raises, she said.

          I guess we can just disagree on why she bothered to say that. (interesting location of quotes, btw….).

          Correct, targeted teaching personnel, just like QEIA would be a way to achieve that. Any other targeted service that requires personnel would also qualify, such as librarians, counselors, nurses and police. All things LAUSD also appears to be doing, though to what extent they are differentiating by need is only as clear as their LCAP…

      • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

        Can Districts that are getting the base grant only use the base grant for across the Board salary increases when they are actually having to increase class size to balance their budgets? That is the continued situation in the Capistrano Unified School District. There is now now over site at the State level, or the County level. The LCAP is a joke, as the District lies to the Public- example- CUSD is stating it … Read More

        Can Districts that are getting the base grant only use the base grant for across the Board salary increases when they are actually having to increase class size to balance their budgets? That is the continued situation in the Capistrano Unified School District. There is now now over site at the State level, or the County level. The LCAP is a joke, as the District lies to the Public- example- CUSD is stating it had 76 meetings – “Public Engagement” however when you look at the list of meetings that statement is not true. Only 2 were even open to the public and both of those provided no opportunity fro the Public to express themselves to Trustees- the Publics elected representatives. See: http://disclosurecusd.blogspot.com/2015/06/san-clemente-residents-learn-lessons-in.html

        So as usual- Employee Compensation continues to increase while student services are cut

        • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

          Well, a district could even use s&c grants for across the board raises, but it would have to prove that its the most effective use of that money for those kids. So it should be clear that base grants could be used. The restrictions on class sizes mostly come down to collective bargaining. Many districts have class size caps in their teachers' contract and the class size caps that are part of LCFF are subject … Read More

          Well, a district could even use s&c grants for across the board raises, but it would have to prove that its the most effective use of that money for those kids. So it should be clear that base grants could be used.
          The restrictions on class sizes mostly come down to collective bargaining. Many districts have class size caps in their teachers’ contract and the class size caps that are part of LCFF are subject to union ‘override’, ie they can be higher if the union agrees.
          The only real oversight for LCAPs is the COE, but given what they passed last year, I expect that isn’t much anyway.

        • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

          Dawn, You are doing a great job on these pages of exposing the inappropriate actions by your school District. Sure hope your local newspaper is getting this information and distributing more widely. Makes an argument for doing away with the public school monopoly that it currently enjoys.

          • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

            Tom- To be honest. There is not a single newspaper, or any media outlet that will cover this. CUSD has had major issues long before my child entered the District 10 years ago. I post these documents on google docs so that if at some point someone would like to help the students in CUSD - the work is already done. I am also a "Star" patcher so I am able to post these same articles … Read More

            Tom-

            To be honest. There is not a single newspaper, or any media outlet that will cover this. CUSD has had major issues long before my child entered the District 10 years ago. I post these documents on google docs so that if at some point someone would like to help the students in CUSD – the work is already done. I am also a “Star” patcher so I am able to post these same articles on the Local Patch online news sites without much trouble. They have not taken any of these articles down even though there are people that ask them to stating that they are just my opinion and should not be posted as news. I have contacted my County Office of Education, The State Board of Education, when the LCFF was first passed I sent a letter to Everyone in the Chain- Certified Mail Return Receipt requested to The Governor, The Superintendent of Public Education, the Orange County Department of Education and My Superintendent at the time seeking some relief for our students. For the record- not one governmental agency even acknowledged receipt of my letter. I have reached out to every education/political think tank, advocacy organization and unfortunately for the students in CUSD it just isn’t in vogue to help “wealthy” kids get adequate funding for a basic education. The entire State and everyone in the Education field has failed every student in CUSD. I have had no choice but to pull my child from the public school system in order to ensure that she will have the opportunities that she deserves. I see kids everyday that are not graduating high school and going to a 4 year college – but are having to go to saddleback Community college instead. Not because they are not smart enough, not because their parents don’t have the money to pay for college, but because the continued lack of adequate funding and $157 million in cuts to services and programs has made getting a basic education impossible. It is shameful what is going on and everyone will be sorry when we have majority of society that is uneducated and unemployable. You can talk about common core and a STEM education all you want but the reality is that our “wealthy” white children and even our Asians are now performing equally poorly in Math. Way to go California!!!!

  6. navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

    “We believe the law is clear: The money can be used to attract and retain quality teachers in the classroom, to lower class sizes and to restore programs that were cut,” Since this is a specific comment from the CTA, I would like to get some clarification on this. The three things mentioned are mutually exclusive, at least in degree. What proportion of each does the CTA consider appropriate for providing the most effective education for … Read More

    “We believe the law is clear: The money can be used to attract and retain quality teachers in the classroom, to lower class sizes and to restore programs that were cut,”

    Since this is a specific comment from the CTA, I would like to get some clarification on this. The three things mentioned are mutually exclusive, at least in degree. What proportion of each does the CTA consider appropriate for providing the most effective education for our children? To these I would also add things like counselors and librarians (though that could be considered ‘programs’) as well as furlough days (as dawn mentioned, though I thought those were illegal now).

    As a community member, it is difficult to look at the current proportions of teacher to student ratio, program and resource availability, class size and compensation and know how those proportions could be improved upon without understanding what the ideal school environment looks like under a resource-limited circumstance. Without such information, parent gut instinct will be to direct funding toward lowering class sizes (ie teacher hires and retention).

    It would be nice if the CTA, as a group of educators, could provide some direction for community members since no one else is willing to.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      I don't believe they can use furlough days anymore- but they were used the very first year 2013-14 at CUSD- The Teacher Strike was in 2010. Proof that LCFF money was used to restore salaries can be found on the District web site in a memorandum from Clark Hampton, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Support Services dates July 30 2013 which explains that CUSD received $8.2 million in new LCFF. $5.62 million was used to restore … Read More

      I don’t believe they can use furlough days anymore- but they were used the very first year 2013-14 at CUSD-

      The Teacher Strike was in 2010. Proof that LCFF money was used to restore salaries can be found on the District web site in a memorandum from Clark Hampton, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Support Services dates July 30 2013 which explains that CUSD received $8.2 million in new LCFF. $5.62 million was used to restore salaries to employees. Then the District negotiated $13.4 million in cuts to the 2013-14 budget that was paid for with a class size increase of 1.5 students across all grades and 3 instructional furlough days. See: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1343191429797/5667737573387975994.pdf

      I might also add, that at the time, the District was told not to include new LCFF money in revenues for negotiation purposes so the District and its employee groups intentionally delayed contract negotiations. Had the District and its employee groups acted in good faith the contracts would have been completed by June 30, 2015 with a COLA only budget of 1.56% and the trigger to restore salaries would never have been met. It was only by delaying the contracts (illegally) that restoration was triggered by adding new LCFF money and the COLA together. All illegal and with absolutely no over site despite letters to the State, the County and even the DA.

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        fwiw, the guidance mentioned in the article is about s&c grants, not lcff funds 'in general' (unfortunately, different people are using that term to apply to two different 'pots' of money). As you point out, CUSD doesnt have much s&c at all so it's unlikely it could have used it for salaries. In addition, the guidance was intended to address a question about funds for districts with low concentrations of unduplicated students. So it should … Read More

        fwiw, the guidance mentioned in the article is about s&c grants, not lcff funds ‘in general’ (unfortunately, different people are using that term to apply to two different ‘pots’ of money). As you point out, CUSD doesnt have much s&c at all so it’s unlikely it could have used it for salaries. In addition, the guidance was intended to address a question about funds for districts with low concentrations of unduplicated students. So it should apply to CUSD as well. Note, however, that the only teeth the guidance shows are threatened county rejection so this is something that needs to be brought up to your COE if you find even those minimal s&c are being used for the same reason.

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Hi Gary- I respectfully disagree. I do not see this as an adequacy law suit. This is a straight Constitutional law issue. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment requires every law to be applied equally to all persons. A State cannot write a law that treats individuals differently simply because of where they happen to live. To treat people differently because of the wealth of their community, or the race or ethnicity of a … Read More

      Hi Gary-

      I respectfully disagree. I do not see this as an adequacy law suit. This is a straight Constitutional law issue.

      The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment requires every law to be applied equally to all persons. A State cannot write a law that treats individuals differently simply because of where they happen to live. To treat people differently because of the wealth of their community, or the race or ethnicity of a communities people is an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. To deprive any student of their individual right to a basic education is also a violation of the California Constitutions Free School Guarantee.

      The Supreme court has already ruled when it would find an individual States education funding law to be unconstitutional.

      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/

      The bottom line – In Rodriguez the Court specifically stated that 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 happen to live.

      The stated goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to provide a “Base Grant” (base level of funding that will provide EVERY student with an “basic” education). The law then provides additional funding for students with high needs such as Foster Children, English Language Learners and the poor called a “Supplemental Grant”. Then even more funding is given to students who live in communities with high concentrations of Foster Children, English Language Learners and the poor aka “Concentration Grant”.

      In order for California’s LCFF law to be constitutional, California would need to raise the Base Grant to a minimum amount that ensures EVERY child gets a basic education. Writing a law that intentionally underfunds wealthy suburban school Districts and interferes with every student in a wealthy Districts right to a basic education (irrespective of the individual child’s wealth, race or ethnicity) is unconstitutional on its face.

      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.

      California’s new funding system creates inequities that are not rational and do not fulfill the laws stated goal of providing a basic education to every student and then providing additional funding for high needs students.

      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 Court in Rodriguez found that while the Texas funding system was not perfect, the Texas system provided a basic education for every child in the State. Per Pupil funding in Texas was within $100 across all districts. California’s new LCFF does not provide EVERY child with a basic education and in fact determines funding based solely on wealth race and ethnicity. As written, the major purpose of the law is wealth redistribution and not education.

      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.

      While I believe that it is the Governors intention to at some point in the future, to allow Districts to have the power to tax that is not currently the case and therefore this law is unconstitutional.

  7. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    "The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,” since it should be spent increasing programs and services for those students, wrote Jeff Breshears, administrator for the education department’s Local Agency Systems Support Office." This implies that the burden to spend base grant funds appropriately is less heavy. If salary increases cannot come out of SC grants then it necessarily comes out of … Read More

    “The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,” since it should be spent increasing programs and services for those students, wrote Jeff Breshears, administrator for the education department’s Local Agency Systems Support Office.”

    This implies that the burden to spend base grant funds appropriately is less heavy. If salary increases cannot come out of SC grants then it necessarily comes out of the base grant. However, since some SC grant monies are used to hire more teachers specifically for SC target student purposes and because salaries are negotiated districtwide, it follows that base grant funds are used to pay increased wages for specific SC grant programs. Apparently that is OK for the base grant to support SC programs just as long as it isn’t the other way around -SC grant money used to help non-SC target students.

    The LCFF was structured to give discretion to districts with county oversight. But the LCAP requirements for explaining the use of SC grants does not have parallel accounting requirements ( SACS Codes) to verify that such explanations are more than just words.

  8. Jann Geyer Taylor 1 year ago1 year ago

    To those who continue to villify teachers, It doesn't help our children to walk into school from a home and community culture of teacher hatred and disrespect. Our children spend the majority of their waking hours with teachers; and it serves them best to respect the adults in that environment. Your hostility makes their days and ours more stressful. Sadly this article adds to that disrespectful culture, pitting teacher … Read More

    To those who continue to villify teachers, It doesn’t help our children to walk into school from a home and community culture of teacher hatred and disrespect. Our children spend the majority of their waking hours with teachers; and it serves them best to respect the adults in that environment. Your hostility makes their days and ours more stressful. Sadly this article adds to that disrespectful culture, pitting teacher salaries against students’ needs. Both are legitimate needs; there needs to be more money. Teachers are not money grubbing, and most put money low on the list of reasons for why we chose to teach. In fact, we have been taking “one for the state” for quite some time: no cost of living adjustment, much less a raise on top of that for several years; an increased class size from 24 to 32 in each class; and an increased cost of health benefits that take at least half of our salary. Our standard of living diminishes each year. Presenting the story in a way that ignores these sacrifices by your California teachers reduces the problem to an erroneous headline: “Greedy teachers take money from the neediest students in our state.” That isn’t who we are. I challenge you to report a more complete and complex story.

  9. Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 1 year ago1 year ago

    LCFF was set up ostensibly to bring spending authority from the distant solons in Sac back to the community which elects its school boards and knows best what is needed at home. The new LCFF money this year is supposed to directly improve the education of California's many underperforming English language learners (ELLs), but actual administration of LCFF funds in each district across the state is like swiss cheese -- full of holes. Few CA … Read More

    LCFF was set up ostensibly to bring spending authority from the distant solons in Sac back to the community which elects its school boards and knows best what is needed at home. The new LCFF money this year is supposed to directly improve the education of California’s many underperforming English language learners (ELLs), but actual administration of LCFF funds in each district across the state is like swiss cheese — full of holes. Few CA school districts have set up required accountable democratic systems involving community members for the proper allocation of these monies, according to reports published here.

    Which is good news for the teachers union (which belongs to the local AFL-CIO) in places like San Diego. Labor here elected and controls the entire five-person school board and its former elementary school principal Superintendent. In San Diego the teachers’ contract is under discussion, demands for 10% raises are being made after the recession’s dry spell, and new unassigned LCFF money is being regarded as a windfall. Only perfunctory steps have been taken to assure that LCFF money will go to direct education of ELL children who need it.

    The sad truth is that as fewer and fewer Californians vote in local school board elections, more and more special interest money is devoted to school board races — usually teachers’ unions versus business PACs — to determine outcomes. Governor Brown and his puppet State Superintendent Tom Torlakson stand back and wash their hands of the details of LCFF, piously claiming that “local control” is being restored after years of state interference, but in fact LCFF “local control” in our case just means more for the adults running the ed show.

    Replies

    • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

      Despite what Dennis Dannis is quoted as saying, my experience is the same as you identify, Francis and Doctor J, in parts of the SF Bay Area, that is unions demanding and getting compensation increases that are above wage increases elsewhere in the economy! Not sure where this money is coming from but all are State dollars so the same pot. And not just teachers because it works like this: first the … Read More

      Despite what Dennis Dannis is quoted as saying, my experience is the same as you identify, Francis and Doctor J, in parts of the SF Bay Area, that is unions demanding and getting compensation increases that are above wage increases elsewhere in the economy! Not sure where this money is coming from but all are State dollars so the same pot. And not just teachers because it works like this: first the teachers get the raise, then the Administrators, then the “classified” or maintenance employees (SEIU). Meanwhile our classrooms need MORE teachers to help with ELL students and other kids with learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia). Giving big raises has the opposite effect.

      It is a real problem and I’m very happy to see that the State recognizes it. Am skeptical that they will really do anything about it once the CTA starts screaming and threatening the politicians in Sacto. My goal is to shine a light on compensation as much as possible and keep Districts accountable locally, if that is possible. Keep up the good fight Francis.

  10. Doctor J 1 year ago1 year ago

    It didn't take long for the CDE to recognize the joke that across the board teacher raises did not raise the level of service to students nor result in increased learning by students, especially the targeted student populations. The next joke that needs to be exposed is that class size reduction is really happening. Teachers unions across the state are quickly agreeing to higher class sizes to support across the board raises -- … Read More

    It didn’t take long for the CDE to recognize the joke that across the board teacher raises did not raise the level of service to students nor result in increased learning by students, especially the targeted student populations. The next joke that needs to be exposed is that class size reduction is really happening. Teachers unions across the state are quickly agreeing to higher class sizes to support across the board raises — and CSR goes by the wayside under the broadest possible exception: labor union class sizes negotiated higher ! Frankly it will take legislation and specific regulations to protect the students from local school boards more interested in political endorsements than serving students.

  11. FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

    This is important. The fear is that Cities which have drastically increased teacher pay with no concessions from the unions in return have not seem teachers work harder or test scores go up, witness Washington DC (over 30k per pupil) and Baltimore, MD (over 22k). They should have tutors spend 5 hours a week one on one with kids who are poor and disadvantaged and make sure they are not unionized so pay them … Read More

    This is important. The fear is that Cities which have drastically increased teacher pay with no concessions from the unions in return have not seem teachers work harder or test scores go up, witness Washington DC (over 30k per pupil) and Baltimore, MD (over 22k). They should have tutors spend 5 hours a week one on one with kids who are poor and disadvantaged and make sure they are not unionized so pay them well, 20-25 an hour with bonuses for the kids’ learning to read fast, but fire them quickly if they aren’t performing and hire another. College kids can do it part time or adults full time. Make sure the money goes to things which are game changers. The union would push for across the board salary increases but then in a couple years we hear the underpaid argument compared to someone who’s making more and nothing changes. For the achievement gap to change, you need motivational speakers.

    Another idea for the money is take middle school only, a very impressionable age, and each semester pay each 4.00 kid a check of $100, each 3.5 kid $50, and each 3.00 kid $25. Under 3.00 gets nothing. Then you’ll have a couple days where the kids with 4.00s all bought something exciting and really cool and are admired. It would get kids to work harder and is key. Get toy stores and other businesses to give rewards to the best students.

    This money has to be game changing, not throwing good money after bad.

  12. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Many of the parties that fought for local control are now fighting against local control or, shall I say, relatively more state control. The State wanted to get out of the business of monitoring districts and LCFF was written in such a fashion to curtail state oversight. Now, more and more the State wants to tell the districts how to spend their local control dollars. Maybe restricted revenue wasn’t such a bad idea.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Local Control is a buzz word for allowing Local Governments to be able to vote to increase their local taxes to pay for services that the State is constitutionally obligated to pay for. The long term plan is to keep our current high taxes which go to the State of California and then to give more power to local government agencies such as Cities, Counties, and yes School Districts the power to levy additional taxes. … Read More

      Local Control is a buzz word for allowing Local Governments to be able to vote to increase their local taxes to pay for services that the State is constitutionally obligated to pay for. The long term plan is to keep our current high taxes which go to the State of California and then to give more power to local government agencies such as Cities, Counties, and yes School Districts the power to levy additional taxes. Note the State is passing control “responsibility” down to local governments – washing the State’s hands of over site, but the State is not passing the tax money it received down to the local governments to fund what is now their responsibility. This is an intentional redistribution of wealth which will now require those schools receiving only base grant funding to tax themselves again to provide a basic education for their students. The law is an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution because it deprives every student who lives in a wealthy suburban school district of an adequate education. It sound like the only students that the State of California cares about is the poor, ELL and Foster children. Well- if you think the poor, ELL and Foster children in my District are receiving any services at $7,002 per student – you are wrong. My District Capistrano Unified School District receives the base grant and- very little in a supplemental grant $300 per student. Employee compensation increases were the first thing that our District did across the Board, both last year, this year and they are just starting to negotiate for next year. There has been no restoration of any programs, last year teachers received an average compensation increase of $10,000 per employee (from $9,500 to $105,000) and the District increased class sizes and furloughed students 3 days to pay for that. Our students attend school in overcrowded classrooms, with the largest class sizes in the nation in buildings that are not maintained because of a lack of adequate funding and no one cares because Orange County is a wealth area. How sad for students whoes academic performance is dropping like a rock. But our employees are well taken care of and our new Superintendent was brought here to get voters to pass a bond measure and The State is just passing a bill that will allow Cities to tax residents an additional 1% – up to 3% on top of the State tax level. Next they will allow the District to levy taxes as well. Last Note: Unfunded pension liabilities in 2011 were $50 million after the recent compensation increases they have risen to $57 million and are projected to increase to $67 million next year. There is no hope that our District will ever have funding to restore services, fix our old and failing facilities or reduce class sizes.

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