Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined twenty local school superintendents from across California to call for action on his plan to direct additional resources to the state's neediest students and restore local control over how money is spent in schools.
"This is not an ordinary legislative measure, this is a cause. It's a cause for the children of California, and it's a cause for our own future as Californians," said Governor Brown. "Kids can't wait, California can't wait, and that's why the superintendents and thousands of people throughout California are going to work to see the passage of our bill."
The Governor's plan, also known as the "Local Control Funding Formula," increases flexibility and accountability at the local level by restoring local education agencies' control over money previously earmarked for state-mandated programs. The plan also strategically directs additional money above base funding to children with the greatest need -- low-income students, English learners and foster youth.
According to a recent PPIC poll, 78% of adults support the Governor's proposal to give local districts more flexibility and 71% of adults support the Governor's plan to direct more funding to lower-income students and English language learners.
The Governor has called for changes to how the state funds schools for more than a year and has met with education experts, educators, the Legislature and other stakeholders from throughout California. This year's proposal, introduced with the 2013-14 Budget, builds on what was introduced in January 2012.
The Governor was joined today in Sacramento by supportive superintendents representing school districts large and small, urban and suburban, wealthy and low-income from across California.
"With the Governor's Local Control Funding Formula, students with the greatest need would receive the greatest support," said John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. "Now is our chance to make progress towards the promise of equal opportunity, which is why I fully support the Governor's proposal."
"The new funding formula trusts local decision-makers and school leaders with greater flexibility and decision-making at the local level where the priorities, needs and goals of our schools are best understood," said Mary Jane Burke, superintendent of the Marin County Office of Education. "This plan acknowledges that there are students in our schools that "need more to get the same' in order to provide the quality educational opportunities that are available to other children and schools."
"The Local Control Funding Formula is a critical step in the right direction to ensure a more equitable funding system that better reflects the educational needs of English learners and students considered to be at or below the poverty line," said Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, superintendent of schools for the Santa Ana Unified School District. "California's school funding system is experiencing serious problems, and the Governor should be commended for trying to address this issue."
"The issue is how best do we spend the dollars that we have, and that's what makes the Governor's proposal so unique and so urgent and so timely," said Jonathan Raymond, superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
The following superintendents joined Governor Brown today: Rob Arias, Bakersfield City School District; Tom Armelino, Shasta County Office of Education; Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Office of Education; John Deasy, Los Angeles Unified School District; Elliott Duchon, Jurupa Unified School District; Marc Ecker, Fountain Valley School District; Mick Founts, San Joaquin County Office of Education; José González, Planada Elementary School District; Jon Gundry, Pasadena Unified School District; Bill Kowba, San Diego Unified School District; Michael Lin, Corona-Norco Unified School District; Dale Marsden, San Bernardino City Unified School District; Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District; Al Mijares, Orange County Department of Education; Rick Miller, Riverside Unified School District; Jonathan Raymond, Sacramento City Unified School District; Tony Smith, Oakland Unified School District; Sandy Thorstenson, Whittier Union High School District; Randy Ward, San Diego County Office of Education; and Kenneth Young, Riverside County Office of Education.
The Governor's plan is also supported by a diverse coalition of education, civil rights and business organizations, including Children Now, the Latino Community Foundation, the Asian Business Association and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.