Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The LCFF Imperative.

For those of you referred by Lorna Sheridan's article on the Sonoma Index-Tribune's web site, the piece she references is located here.

Moving right along, one of the ongoing issues this year in California is the acronym "LCFF," which stands for "Local Control Funding Formula." Jerry Brown wanted to devote nearly all new tax revenue to schools, some of it to repay shortages in legally mandated levels of aid from past years and some to shift more money to districts with large numbers of poor and/or English-learner students. To quote Dan Walters, "[Brown] contends [it is] a moral imperative to help those disadvantaged students – Latino and black kids, mostly – catch up in academic achievement."

EdSource (a great web site) reported today that it appears there will be a compromise as part of the deadline to pass the California budget this week.

I've blogged about LCFF previously in February here and back in January here. As expected, wealthy suburban districts demanded changes (San Ramon Valley is the poster child in EdSource's article), and duly received them.  However, the change is still pretty good news.

"Complete District by District Breakdown"
Compromise Plan versus Pre-Recession (2007-08) 
California Department of Finance
On the right is how Sonoma Valley Unified will fare under the plan. The table demonstrates exactly how important the concentration grant in the LCFF is; the threshold for the grant is 55%. For example. Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified, whose funding at the moment is roughly similar to SVUSD, and which is listed immediately below SVUSD on the chart, falls below the threshold, at 51%.  Sonoma Valley clears the hurdle, at 62%.

SVUSD will therefore receive a year-on-year increase in funding of $1,183 per student; Cotati-Rohnert Park's will be only $266. The difference will continue as overall funding rises through 2019-2020.  The total increase in the next fiscal year for SVUSD, under the plan anticipated to be passed this week, will amount to $4,826,640. 

Thank-you, Governor Brown.