LCFF Weekly News Roundup for June 16, 2014

Rates of foster care entry in California fluctuate; Gaps between racial/ethnic groups remain Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, June 18, 2014

Newly released data  the rate of children entering into the California foster care system for the first time has fluctuated since 2000, African American and American Indian/Alaska Native children continue to enter that system at more than three times the rate of Latino and white children. This gap between racial/ethnic groups has clear implications for LCFF as, under that law, school districts will receive additional funding for foster youth.

LAUSD school by school budgets KPCC/Southern California Public Radio, June 18, 2014

 KPCC has used data from the Los Angeles Unified School District to develop an online tool where one can look up how much each LAUSD school is slated to spend in the 2014-15 school year on a variety of items including school nurses, libraries, and teachers. You can access the tool and download the district's data, here.

SF Schools part of new study highlighting challenges facing California immigrant students The San Francisco Examiner, June 18, 2014

A recent report from the Migration Policy Institute finds that California educates more than one-third of all US students designated as English Language Learners (ELLs) and focuses on the unique educational needs of students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The report looks at specific approaches of school districts around the state, including in Oakland and San Francisco, around their ELLs and provides recommendations within the context of the many ongoing changes in the state, including LCFF. You can read the executive summary, recommendations, and full report, here.

Fixing school funding for vulnerable students in Stockton American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, June 17, 2014

This blog post outlines the requirements for school districts in terms of using LCFF funds and highlights the concerns of Stockton Unified community stakeholders that there is insufficient transparency around that district's intended uses for those funds. One specific concern is one that has been seen in many districts around the state: investing LCFF supplemental and concentration funds in increasing its budget for school police. You can read a letter that a coalition including the ACLU of Northern California, California Rural Legal Assistance, and others sent Stockton Unified School District Superintendent Lowder around their concerns with the district's draft LCAP, here.

Reserve cap blemishes otherwise good news budget Cabinet Report, June 16, 2014

The final state budget was approved Sunday night and included mostly positive developments for schools, including an additional $250 million for LCFF and $400 million toward the implementation of Common Core State Standards (which is one of the State's Eight Priority Areas for LCFF). Many school management groups were opposed to a provision that restricts the size of reserves that districts can accumulate;  districts are required to keep reserves that do not exceed six percent of their revenues. There is a process for districts to obtain waivers that would allow them to exceed the reserve cap.

L.A. judge objects to school police getting millions reserved for struggling students The Center for Public Integrity, June 16, 2014

This week, US Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-San Fernando Valley) voiced his opposition to Los Angeles Unified School District's proposed plan to spend $13.02 million in LCFF funds reserved for high-needs students on school police. In recent weeks, many community organizations and LA County's top juvenile court Judge, Michael Nash, have also objected to this plan.  You can read Judge Nash's letter to LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, here.

Emeryville, Oakland students to get formal say in district accountability process San Jose Mercury News, June 15, 2014

The Emery and Oakland unified school districts have become the first to formalize the role that students will have in overseeing LCFF implementation. Last week, both school districts said that LCAP Student Advisory Committees would be set up so that students could be part of decision-making. Neither the structure nor the processes of such advisory groups have yet been determined.

 

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