Menu
Log in

ASCD California

News

  • 01/26/2023 11:37 AM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    Today, Children Now released the 2023 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, an interactive tool that delivers data on how kids are doing in each of California’s 58 counties, and tracks over 40 key indicators of children’s well-being – over time, by race/ethnicity and relative to other counties – from prenatal to the transition to adulthood. 
     
    This year, we’ve added 6 new indicators to provide a more comprehensive whole-child view, including the percent of low-income children reached by CalFresh, children with Medi-Cal who had a blood lead screening by age 2, and 5th graders in foster care who met or exceeded standards in science.

    To learn more about the Scorecard and how to use it to improve outcomes for kids in your community, please join this webinar:

    Tuesday, January 31st, 10:00am
    Register Today!


    Children Now Presenters: 
    Ted Lempert, 
    President 
    Kelly Hardy, Senior Managing Director, Health & Research  
    Vincent Stewart, Vice President, Policy & Programs 
    Stacy Lee, Chief Learning Officer & Senior Managing Director, Early Childhood 
    Susanna Kniffen, Senior Managing Director, Child Welfare & Government Relations 
    Lishaun Francis, Director, Behavioral Health 

    Click here to access the 2023 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being.


  • 01/24/2023 1:57 PM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    Critics say Newsom's proposal for low-performing students fails most Black students

    Coalition wants money to target Black students, but Proposition 209 bars state from affirmative action funding

    BLACK STUDENT SUCCESS

    JANUARY 24, 2023
    EMMA GALLEGOSJOHN FENSTERWALD,ANDDANIEL J. WILLIS

    ALISON YIN FOR EDSOURCE

    Critics of Newsom’s proposal say Black students have long lagged behind in academic performance — and yet there has been no dedicated effort to address Black students in California.

    A plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom to increase oversight of all low-performing student groups and focus additional money on the state’s poorest schools has angered a coalition of Black education and civil rights organizations that had pressed him for extra state funding to help Black students.

    Lengthy discussions with the governor took a different turn because Newsom’s legal advisers warned that targeting Black students, whose academic performance trails every other racial and ethnic group, could run afoul of Proposition 209. The constitutional amendment, which California voters passed in 1996 and reaffirmed in 2020, bars state action based on race.

    Rather than target funds to all Black students, Newsom’s plan would target the lowest-income schools that educate about 5% of all students and only 6% of Black students, an EdSource analysis shows. Black students make up 5.1% of the state’s students.

    “It’s almost the opposite of what we were asking for,” said Debra Watkins, the founder and executive director of the California-based A Black Education Network.

    Watkins is a member of the coalition that sought to increase funding to the roughly 80,000 Black students who do not already receive supplemental funding from the state. She said the governor’s proposal misses the point.

    “We’re livid,” she said.

    The divide surfaced last fall when Assemblymember Akilah Weber, D-La Mesa, proposed a bill that dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars in ongoing funding to all Black students statewide. The bill won broad legislative support, but Weber ultimately pulled the bill, AB 2774, after meeting with the governor and members of the California Legislative Black Caucus in August, citing “potential constitutional issues.” Newsom’s office refused to be more specific.

    Weber called the governor’s compromise “a good first step,” but other Black organizations insist that the threat of Proposition 209 is overblown. She and others argued the bill would not violate the proposition because the money would go to closing the achievement gap of whichever racial or ethnic group performed the worst on standardized tests. Black students also lag in other metrics contributing to low performance, such as high suspension rates and chronic absenteeism.

    Related


    California Schools, Community Colleges To Face Slight Drop In Funding, First In A Decade

    Newsom has not been afraid to risk a lawsuit when it comes to standing up for gun control or reproductive rights, said Margaret Fortune, the president and CEO of Fortune School, a group of charter schools in Sacramento serving primarily Black students.

    “We want him to stand up for Black kids just like he does for other high-needs groups,” said Fortune.

    Newsom’s plan, which is part of the 2023-24 state budget, includes $300 million in new ongoing annual funding to high-poverty schools for what he calls an “equity multiplier.” The funding would be divided among schools based on their students’ eligibility for free meals — at least 90% of students in elementary and middle schools and at least 85% of students in high schools. Newsom’s analysts chose free lunch rather than the broader measure of free and reduced lunch, which would more than double the number of eligible low-income schools and add to the expense of the plan.

    Details of the proposals are expected in accompanying legislation, called the trailer bill, due out early in February.

    The EdSource analysis estimates that funding from Newsom’s alternative would target 5% of students in the state. The students reached would be mostly Latino, while including about 6% of Black students statewide. The oversight requirements in Newsom’s proposal would extend to all schools in which Black students — or any other tracked student group — performed poorly.

    For critics of Newsom’s proposal, there is one overriding fact: Black students have long lagged behind in academic performance as measured by state tests — and yet there has been no dedicated effort to address Black students in California.

    Related


    California Voters Rejecting Proposition 16 To Restore Affirmative Action

    “When I started teaching Black students, they were the lowest-performing subgroup in the state 45 years ago, and they still are now. That’s criminal,” Watkins said.

    The governor’s solution doesn’t address the issue that the Black in School coalition raised — the need for more funding focused on Black student success beyond a small portion of schools. Watkins said the coalition was only included in discussions with senior members of the governor’s office a week before the budget proposal was announced.

    Coalition members are concerned the governor’s broadly focused proposal will not be as effective as it would have been if it were specifically targeted.

    “Historically, the children who need the most help in California don’t fare well with general, so-called equity measures where money is doled out based on their representation in the school population,” said Christina Laster, education adviser for Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Western Region, in a statement on behalf of the Black in School coalition. “Black and Native American students get crumbs.”

    The critics say the state must do more to narrow the gaps between Black students and other groups on state achievement tests. In 2021-22, 30.3% of Black students in California met the English language arts standards and just 15.9% met the standard in math.

    That’s below every other racial or ethnic group, and drastically below white students who scored 61.4% in English language arts and 48.2% in math. It’s also behind low-income students as a whole: 35.2% of this group in California met English language arts standards and 21.2% met the standard in math.

    Related


    California Budget Deal Includes Extra Funding For Students With Lowest Test Scores

    The gaps are long-standing and widened to over 30 points even before the pandemic when scores dropped for all students.

    In 2018-19, 33% of Black students in California met the English language arts standards and just 20.5% met the standard in math compared with white students, who scored 65.4% in English language arts and 54.2% in math.

    New focus on oversight

    Newsom’s plan is more than new money, however. Expanding oversight of schools where student groups are performing poorly would mark a significant shift in how the state approaches academic improvement. The funding is important but increased oversight is the “real key” to this proposal, said Chris Ferguson, California’s program budget manager for education systems.

    A point of contention since 2013 when the state adopted its funding plan for schools, known as the local control funding formula, has been whether state funding should be distributed to the district or schools based on performance on a number of metrics, including test scores. Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who championed the adoption of the formula, insisted that districts should lead the efforts, since the key decisions determining schools’ spending, curriculums, hiring of principals and contracts setting pay and working conditions are made at the district level.

    That view of change has been at odds with school-based reforms of the federal government under the Every Student Succeeds Act. It requires that states identify low-performing schools and direct federal funding to those sites. California has complied with the federal program, called Comprehensive Support and Improvement but made it a low priority, with little oversight; Newsom’s equity multiplier would likely include several dozen of the 647 schools on the 2019 federal list, due to be updated soon.

    “The Brown administration prioritized the district level and fit the federal school approach into the state accounting system begrudgingly,” said John Affeldt, managing attorney and director of education equity at Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm. “The assumption was that districts would pay attention to the lowest-performing schools and student groups. Newsom recognizes that hasn’t happened enough, and there needs to be a heavier thumb on the scale to guide districts to pay more attention to them.”

    Weber supports these requirements for increased accountability missing from her original bill. “Our school systems must show accountability that the funds they receive will be used on (low performing) students and produce improved academic performance,” she said, in a statement. She was unavailable to comment on the analysis showing that 6% of Black students would be reached by Newsom’s funding plan.

    Under the local control funding formula, which distributes about three-quarters of state funding for TK-12, districts receive extra money based on the attendance of high-needs students. Those students are defined as English learners, low-income, foster and homeless students. There is no funding directed at racial or ethnic groups, and students in high-poverty schools located in low-poverty districts don’t receive extra “concentration” funding.

    The Black in School coalition, which includes local NAACP chapters, Black Students of California United, charter schools and other organizations focused on Black student success, estimates that about a quarter of California’s Black students don’t qualify as high-needs students and so receive no additional funding.

    The funding formula requires that districts create a comprehensive document, the Local Control and Accountability Plan, through a public process that demonstrates how they plan to use the additional state funding. They also must identify low-performing student groups, including by race and ethnicity, as designated by colors on the California School Dashboard.

    Districts in which two or more student groups receive low ratings on multiple measures, such as test scores and chronic absences, are designated for limited help from their county offices of education. After working with the county to identify root causes of underperformance, districts are largely on their own to address achievement gaps. Only if underperformance increases over five years will the state impose additional measures — which has occurred in fewer than a half-dozen districts.

    Critics and researchers, who include the California State Auditor, have said that in practice the public is often not involved enough in funding decisions and that it has remained difficult in many districts to track how extra funding is spent and whether it reaches students who need it the most.

    “Most of the extra money has gone to districtwide programs and initiatives and not to the neediest schools,” Affeldt said.

    Brian Rivas, senior director of policy and government relations, at Education Trust-West, agreed. “Most advocates would like to see greater confidence that the funding is reaching the intended students,” he said.

    That would happen with more intensive oversight at the school level under Newsom’s plan, according to Brooks Allen, the executive director of the State Board of Education and an education adviser to Newsom. Schools would be required to identify disparities in performance, commit to goals, and evaluate whether it was successful. If the plan wasn’t effective, the school would be required to change course.

    Outside monitors, probably from county offices of education, would analyze how schools are spending their money. The new “equity leads” also would ensure that schools are engaging with parents and the local community on a plan that addresses underlying issues, including hiring, assigning and retaining qualified teachers.

    “It’s very focused on all the student groups that have the greatest needs, and certainly Black students are squarely among them,” Allen said. “We think this focuses those resources in a more meaningful way than just talking about fund generation.”

    As an example, the 890 out of 10,558 schools where Black students ranked “very low” for math performance would be required to identify and tackle this disparity, Allen said.

    Executive Director of Education Trust-West Christopher J. Nellum wrote in a statement that changes to California’s school funding mechanism will “become an even sharper tool for advancing educational equity.”

    SHARE ARTICLE

    Emma Gallegos covers equity issues in education and is based in California's Central Valley.

    John Fensterwald writes about education policy and its impact in California.

    Daniel J. Willis is an EdSource data journalist.


  • 01/10/2023 4:25 PM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    California schools, community colleges to face slight drop in funding, first in a decade

    SCHOOL FINANCE

    JANUARY 10, 2023
    JOHN FENSTERWALD
    Gov. Gavin Newsom delivers his budget proposal in Sacramento on Jan. 10, 2023.

    Funding for schools and community colleges will fall next year for the first time in a decade, under the first pass at the 2023-24 state budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom released Tuesday. 

    Newsom projected a drop of $1.5 billion below the $110.4 billion the Legislature approved last June for Proposition 98, the formula that apportions how much of the state’s General Fund goes to TK-12 and community colleges.

    He said that the state would meet the statutory requirement to pay a projected 8.1% cost of living adjustment, the highest rate in four decades. School organizations have reiterated that funding COLA would be their top budget priority this year.   

    “That’s a number I never expected to see…” Newsom said. “It’s an expression of our commitment to equity.”

    The COLA increase would apply to general funding through the Local Control Funding Formula as well as special education and other ongoing programs.

    At the same time, he said he would continue the big initiatives he funded during the past two years, including $4 billion for community schools, $12.5 billion for learning recovery from Covid and $4.7 billion for mental health needs. “We’re going to continue these commitments, we’re not backing off,” he said during a lengthy budget presentation.

    Schools would fare relatively well, compared with other areas in budget, with a projected $22 billion shortfall in the General Fund. While Newsom is proposing funding delays and cuts to climate change, transportation, housing and workforce development programs, he committed to keeping cuts away from schools.

    BUDGET SUMMARIES

    More details on the budget from the Department of Finance are available here:

    Newsom’s forecast does not assume there will be a recession, and much could change between now and May, when the governor issues a revised budget based on updated revenue forecasts, followed by negotiations with the Legislature.

    The drop in Prop. 98 funding, several billion less than Legislative Analyst projected in November, follows 10 years of funding increases. Between 2019-20 and 2021-22, the minimum guarantee alone grew $31.3 billion to $110.3 billion – 39.5%. It was the biggest increase in any two-year period since the passage of Proposition 98 in 1988, according to the LAO. The drop in 2023-24, if it holds, would erode only a small portion of this gain.

    Despite less money, TK-12 per student funding under Prop. 98 would actually slightly rise to a record $17,519 in 2023-24. That’s because of declining enrollment. Under Prop. 98, schools and community colleges will continue to receive 39% of the General Fund revenues, dividing it among a shrinking number of students. Total per student funding, with funding from federal government and other sources will be $23,723 next year, according to the Department of Finance.

    Newsom is not proposing new big-dollar programs. However, he would broaden the Local Control Funding Formula by $300 million through what he is calling an Equity Multiplier, a new school-based funding concept that reflects a commitment he made last year to Assemblywoman Akilah Weber, D-San Diego. It would provide additional funding to the highest poverty schools to address underlying issues behind the lowest performing students – as identified by the California School Dashboard. Black students statewide have been among the lowest performing student groups, along with English learners, foster and homeless students.  Fewer than 1 in 6 Black students met standards in math, compared with one-third of all students, in the latest Smarter Balanced results.

    “This is an important investment that would double-down on improving opportunities and closing gaps at our state’s lowest-income schools. And we’re particularly pleased to see the funds focus on improving teacher quality at the neediest school sites,” said John Affeldt, Managing Attorney and Director of Education Equity at Public Advocates.

    Details of the program and methods of accountability need to be worked out, Newsom said.

    He is also proposing:

    • $250 million more to districts with the lowest income elementary schools to hire and train literacy coaches. The number of schools with literacy coaches will double.
    • An additional $1.5 billion to continue other programs designed to increase the number of qualified teachers in classrooms including the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which pays teachers with needed credentials up to $20,000 a year to work in schools that have a high number of foster youth, English learners and students from low-income familiesand the Classified School Employee program, which helps classified staff earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. “These investments have begun to increase the number of fully prepared teachers graduating from California teacher education programs and entering the state educator workforce, and to reduce the number of teachers who are hired on substandard credentials,” according to the budget summary. 
    • $100 million to enable high school seniors to visit museums, attend theater performances or enjoy other arts enrichment activities. The funding amounts to about $200 per student.

    Susan Markarian, president of the California School Boards Association, praised Newsom’s previous commitments to extending the school day and funding learning recovery while providing the full cost-of-living adjustment. “Combined with an additional investment to implement transitional kindergarten, this budget contains important tools school districts and county offices of education can use to fund academic interventions, supplemental services and mental health supports,” she said in a statement.

    But she also called for “more action to address the staffing shortage and provide pension relief at a time when 25 cents of every dollar received by local schools goes toward pension obligations.” She also requested “more robust support for schools to combat cyberattacks that put student and staff privacy at risk and compromise school operations.”

    Consistent with previous years, the governor’s budget includes reforms for Special Education Local Plan Areas – the organizations that oversee services for disabled students in California public schools. The budget extends the moratorium on new SELPAs, increases transparency for SELPA budgets and governing plans, and limits the amount of money SELPAs can spend on services not directly related to children, such as fiscal support and monitoring.

    But administrators will have to wait until May’s budget revision for more details on what these changes will actually mean, said Anjanette Pelletier, director of management consulting services for School Services of California.

    Newsom is projecting that Prop. 98 revenue for 2022-23 will fall $3.5 billion below what the Legislature approved last June. Rather than cut ongoing funding or backfill with money from the $8.3 billion education rainy day fund, he would make up the difference by delaying money for kindergarten facilities, cutting $1.2 billion from one-time discretionary funding for arts and instructional materials and applying other unused one-time funding.

    CSU and UC 

    In higher education, the state’s four-year university systems would both see a 5% increase to their base funding in 2023-24 despite the state’s budget shortfall. That means an increase of $215.5 million in ongoing funding for the ten-campus University of California system and $227.3 million for the nine-campus California State University system.

    Overall, Newsom’s proposed level of funding for the state’s higher education systems — which includes the college systems and the California Student Aid Commission — would be down about 2% to about $40 billion in 2023-24. That’s the result of Newsom’s proposal to delay funding for several capital projects, including affordable housing across the systems.

    But by giving the 5% increases to CSU and UC, Newsom plans to fully fund the second year of his multi-year compacts with the systems. Under the agreements, the governor has pledged to give annual budget increases of 5% in exchange for the university systems working toward goals including improving graduation rates, growing enrollment of California residents and making college more affordable.

    The state’s community college system would also get an additional $652.6 million in Proposition 98 dollars for its general fund. Despite losing hundreds of thousands of students during the pandemic, the community colleges have not lost funding because the state has a “hold harmless” protection in effect until 2025.

    Jolene Koester, CSU’s interim chancellor, said the 23-campus system was grateful to see the increase in ongoing funding from the governor to help support Cal State’s priorities. In a statement, Koester said: “This proposal, despite uncertainty surrounding the state’s economic circumstances, reinforces the administration’s commitment to the CSU, its belief in our mission and appreciation of our successes in transforming the lives of Californians.”

    EdSource reporters Ali Tadayon, Michael Burke. Ashley A. Smith, Carolyn Jones and Diana Lambert contributed to the article. 


  • 01/05/2023 9:58 AM | Cheryl Casagrande (Administrator)

    California’s school finance ratings: D for adequacy, B for equity, F for effort — but on the upswing

    SCHOOL FINANCE

    JANUARY 4, 2023
    JOHN FENSTERWALD
    2 COMMENTS

    CREDIT: ALISON YIN/EDSOURCE

    During the past decade, California has leapfrogged a dozen states in per-student funding, and its system for distributing the money to high-needs students is now among the most equitable in the nation.

    California is also an economic behemoth, the fifth–largest economy in the world, with projections that it will surpass Germany to become the fourth. Compared with other states, though, California falls near the bottom in terms of how much it spends on K-12 schools in relation to the total wealth it generates. Despite its reputation as an overtaxed state, California’s education funding has not paralleled the growth of its economy — its state gross domestic product or GDP.

    The nonprofit Education Law Center provides this multilens picture of California’s school financing in Making the Grade, an annual ranking of the states that was published in December. The center, based in New Jersey, is a public interest law firm that advocates for increased school funding. It’s best known for initiating a protracted lawsuit, Abbott v. Burke, that led to higher school funding in New Jersey.

    Its latest report covers spending in 2019-20, when Covid emerged in the spring to shut down schools. The information is 2 to 3 years old because it takes that long to collect final revenue data from all states. As a result, it will take several years to incorporate the surge in K-12 funding in California that started in the second half of 2020-21, when state revenues rebounded from a short pandemic retrenchment, and continued rising through fiscal 2021-22.

    California’s ranking will likely continue to rise as well, although that will depend on what other states did. In at least 10 states, per-student funding was lower in 2019-20 than at the start of the Great Recession in 2008, dropping between $1,000 (Arizona) and $2,500 (Florida), adjusted for inflation.

    Here’s how California stood on the three school finance measures in the latest report that encompass what authors of the index define as fair funding. The report grades every state on each metric.

    Funding level: Grade D

    California ranked 33rd in 2019-20, spending $13,686 per student in state and local funding. That was $1,760 below the national average of $15,446 and about half the $26,605 in per-pupil funding in New York. It’s also $1,037 per student higher than 40th place Texas, a source of frequent comparisons and bragging rights.

    These comparisons didn’t include federal funding or capital expenditures. And they were adjusted to reflect regional costs, using the federal comparative wage index. The index compares regional variations in the wages and salaries of college graduates who are not teachers. California’s funding amounts were adjusted lower to reflect that a dollar doesn’t go as far in a high-cost state.

    California had been 43rd out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2008 and 49th in 2009-10, when state revenues hit bottom following the Great Recession, and school districts’ funding was cut 14% over several years. The 67% increase in per-student funding since then is one of the biggest among the states, but it’s $668 per student below what’s needed for a C on the law center’s scale.

    Without a regional cost adjustment, however, California’s 2019-20 funding of $15,204 per student ranked 19th, an increase of 76% from 2009-10. State funding was slightly above the national average for the first time since 2000. A thriving post-recession economy was partly responsible, but so was a $7.5 billion tax increase on the highest income earners in 2012 that voters made permanent with Proposition 30 in 2016.

    Funding equity: Grade B

    In 2013, the California Legislature, at then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s urging, adopted the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCCF, which redistributed a significant portion of funding to school districts and charter schools based on the proportion of low-income children, English learners, foster students and homeless students they enroll. Making the case for the redistribution in his State of the State address in 2013, Brown said, “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.”

    That system has earned California a ranking as the 9th most equitably funded state, 1 percentage point shy of an A, as measured by how much money high-poverty districts receive relative to low-poverty districts. And the law center’s methodology may underestimate California’s efforts. That’s because the law center uses the Census Bureau’s definition of poverty, which is not adjusted for regional costs, while California defines low-income students as those qualifying for free and reduced-price school lunches and other programs for poor families.

    Related


    California School Districts Pass $20 Billion In Construction Bonds, But Some Rural Areas Say No To Higher Taxes

    By the law center’s calculation, California provided the poorest districts with $2,500 per student more than it funded wealthy districts, a difference of 20% in 2019-20. Since then, Gov. Gavin Newsom has expanded funding under the formula for districts with the highest concentrations of low-income families and also steered them to billions of dollars in funding for community schools and extending the school day by three hours. That too will show up in future rankings.

    According to the law center, California is one of 19 states that provide the highest poverty districts at least 5% more funding than the lowest poverty districts. The leader is Utah, a state of extremes. It ranked 50th in funding with $10,377 per student but first in equity, giving its poorest districts nearly twice that much.

    The reverse of Utah is New Hampshire, which is 8th in per-student funding, about $4,000 per student above the national average, but 50th in equity. Funding in the highest poverty districts there averages about $4,000 per student less than in the lowest poverty districts. It’s one of 18 regressive states, where districts are primarily funded by their own property taxes.

    Funding effort: Grade F

    To measure the capacity to support education, the effort index ranks states by the percentage of a state’s GDP that funds public schools. An alternative measure that Education Week uses is school funding as a percentage of a state’s total personal income.

    At the start of the Great Recession, states’ pre-K-12 funding equaled 3.85% of their economic output. It has not risen to that level since, reaching only 3.6% of GDP in 2019-20. School funding didn’t rise in tandem as their economies recovered in most states, including California.

    California has lagged behind the national average in effort for decades; in pre-Great Recession 2007-08, funding equaled 3.39% of GDP; in 2019-2020, it had fallen to 2.98%. That’s a small number, but it represents a cut of a potential $2,175 per student in funding, according to the law center.

    Even though its per-student funding increased substantially over the past decade, California’s ranking in effort fell from 35th in 2008-09 to 43rd in 2019-20.

    Vermont, first in effort, funded 6.2% of GDP on schools. At the bottom in effort was North Carolina, with funding of 2.32% of GDP; it’s also 48th in per-student funding.  It took New York state 4.29% of GDP, the 9th highest percentage in the nation, to fund $26,000 per student in 2019-20.

    The funding index has critics. Eric Hanushek, an economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said that given what the law center is trying to do, ranking states on effort “doesn’t make any sense.”

    “If a state does well on overall spending and if it gets the distribution right according to their metric, what could it mean that it does not have enough effort?” he asked. “If a state economy does well, as it has in California, then its effort is likely to go down — independent of what and how it is spending on schools.”

    Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, criticized school spending rankings that correlate funding and achievement while ignoring how effectively states spend the funding they have. Besides that, California “does finance schools based on effort but not the way that the law center prefers,” he said. Funding through Proposition 98, the formula that determines how much of the state’s general fund goes to TK-12 and community colleges, is tied to growth in personal income and enrollment, he said. It “is a proxy for economic growth, and GDP and personal income generally grow together.”

    Related

    Does Your District Have What It Takes To Significantly Improve?

    Proposition 98 is a complex formula, and some years it funds schools as a straight percentage of the general fund, and some years on growth of the state revenues and enrollment. The effort index is a reminder that if Californians did want to significantly raise more funding for schools, it has the capacity.

    Doing so might require looking beyond reliance on a progressive personal income tax, which produces 70% of general fund revenue, mostly from the nation’s highest tax rate on the wealthiest 1%. Various proposals to expand the state sales tax to include services, such as on haircuts, lawyers’ fees, or movie tickets, have gotten nowhere in the Legislature. An initiative to amend Proposition 13 to increase property taxes owed by businesses came close to passing in 2020.

    Jonathan Kaplan, senior policy analyst for the California Budget and Policy Center, which advocates for low-income families, says the priority should be to raise the income tax or reduce or eliminate tax breaks for California corporations, whose taxes were sliced during the Trump administration; many are experiencing record profits. Corporations pay about half of the portion of their income they paid a generation ago, he said, producing about 10% of general fund revenue.

    “Low effort (in taxation) is the story of inequality in the state,” he said. “Some in California have done extremely well; others are not keeping up. Every dollar corporations pay in state taxes increases K-12 school spending by 40 cents and provides services to support families struggling to make ends meet.”

    Danielle Farrie, research director at the law center and co-author of the report, said the measure of funding effort gives an indication of whether a state could increase its overall levels of funding “by trying a little bit harder.”

    “It seems that in California, you could,” she said.


Are you a member of California ASCD?

CASCD members are active and involved in the changing face of education.  Join CASCD and become empowered with innovative solutions to support the success of all learners.   Sign up to become a member or renew your membership today!

Learn More

ASCD CaliforniaPhone: (530) 520-9412
Mailing: PO Box 1841
Oroville, CA 95965

The California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD) is a diverse community of educators throughout California committed to promoting exemplary practices that ensure all learners reach their fullest potential.

  

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software