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Help Dublin Schools Avoid Funding Cuts Due to State Budget Changes (LCFF)

May 13, 2013

Local Control Funding Formula OverviewGovernor Jerry Brown is proposing to overhaul California school funding laws. His proposal, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), would significantly increase funding to school districts with large numbers of low-income and English learner students and fix the historical anomalies and inequities in which districts with similar students have been funded at sometimes vastly different amounts. The Governor’s interest to ensure disadvantaged youth are adequately funded has merit. However, the LCFF as proposed needs to be strengthened to ensure every public school in California receives the funding necessary to provide a high quality education to every student.

The most significant issue facing the Dublin Unified School District is that LCFF does not fully fund enrollment growth. The new funding model makes a major change in how growth is funded, departing from the historical basis of allocating funds on a per average daily attendance (ADA) basis. The Governor’s proposed model instead allocates funds based on total funding levels – an approach that, when implemented will deprive all growing districts of sufficient funds to maintain programs. DUSD is projecting 599 more ADA in 2013-14, but will only receive additional revenue limit funding of $957,955. This significantly underfunds the district’s ability to hire the new teachers needed for these students or support the current salary schedules increases needed by over $600,000. Created to help achieve equity for students, ironically, the LCFF as proposed will cause inequity to children who are served by growing suburban school districts, like Dublin. The LCFF may severely compromise our ability to provide 21st century learning for every Dublin student.

School Services projects that this downward trend for Dublin will continue until full implementation in 2019-20. If the Governor’s current LCFF proposal is implemented, the District will utilize all reserves in 2013-2014, and will need to begin reductions in 2014-2015. Additional reductions will need to be made each year under this formula.

While we agree with the intent of the LCFF, we believe that it can be strengthened and that adjustments need to be made. A key element of change lies in the need to fully fund growth in enrollment for our district. We also believe the LCFF should provide adequate base funding and an annual Cost of Living Adjustment. Further, it should be delayed until these issues have been thoroughly reviewed.

We urge the Governor and the State Legislature to consider these critical factors before passing this historic legislation. The impact will be felt for decades to come.

In order to get our message out to the Governor and our State Legislators please take a moment to take action as summarized below.

Take Action!

It will only take a few minutes to share your opinion with members of the Education Committee of the California State Assembly on this issue. Copy and paste the following email into the comments section and submit for each of the Assembly Members listed below. It’s as simple as copy / paste / submit to take action!

I am the parent of a child in grade(s) [enter grade(s)] in the Dublin Unified School District. I am also a taxpayer concerned about the implications of implementing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for schools as it is currently proposed.  The LCFF seeks to revolutionize the way California distributes funds to schools; shifting a greater proportion of dollars to students who are English language learners and/or from poverty.

Your effort to ensure disadvantaged youth have access to resources that help them succeed has merit. However, the proposed LCFF falls short of ensuring that every child, regardless of his or her circumstances, is treated to a high quality education. In addition, with proposed implementation only two months away (at the beginning of fiscal year 2013-2014), many questions remain unanswered as to how schools will be held accountable to deliver a high quality education to every child.

After years of funding cuts, California ranks 49th in the nation for per-pupil funding. Under the proposed LCFF, by 2020 many schools would only return to funding levels seen in 2007-08. California’s school funding target must set an aspirational goal to instead, mirror the per-pupil funding of the nation’s top ten states. The LCFF should include a per-student goal aligned with services schools are expected to provide to students, and include protections so no schools lose ground at a time when we can begin to restore resources lost during the depths of recession.

The last major reform to school finance happened more than 40 years ago. I encourage you to work with the legislature to take the time and effort to get a new school finance model right: one that equips every school district with adequate resources to meet the needs of California’s children today and in the years to come.

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Chair

  • 1020 N Street, Room 159
  • Sacramento, CA 95814
  • 916-319-2187
  • Click here to contact – put your letter in the “Comments” section

Governor Jerry Brown

Outside Joan Buchanan’s District? You can find your Assembly Member here.

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