School finance reform discussion continues

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Nov. 1, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The Governor’s Office, Department of Finance and Superintendent of Public Instruction are convening a series of stakeholder meetings to continue discussions on the Weighted Pupil Formula (WPF), a school finance reform model presented last year by Governor Jerry Brown as part of his 2012-2013 budget proposal. CMTA, as the founding member of the GetREAL coalition (Get Relevance in Education And Learning), has been invited to attend these meetings, which will take place November 9th, 16th and 30th at the Department of Education in Sacramento.

GetREAL is a coalition of business, labor, agriculture, public safety, health care, child advocates and educators who believe California schools should provide a balanced education that includes challenging academic studies and career technical education for "hands on" learning — so that our children are prepared for 21st Century jobs and have the skills to succeed, whether they choose college or not.

The purpose of these meetings is to continue discussions about the new school finance model and elicit stakeholder and public feedback regarding its development and implementation. Key features of the WPF include:

  • Establishing a base grant for every pupil, adjusted by grade span;
  • Collapsing all existing state categorical funding, with the exception of Special Education, into one flexible revenue stream for schools;
  • Providing additional supplemental funding for each low-income student or English learner; and
  • Including concentration grant funding for districts which serve 50 percent or more low-income students or English learners.
Note: The supplemental and concentration grant funding can be spent for any purpose that benefits low-income students and English learners.

As proposed, the WPF would completely eliminate funding for career technical education (CTE). As described above, those resources would be pooled together with other education funding sources to provide a level of base funding for K-12 education plus increased funding opportunities for districts with higher numbers of economically disadvantaged and English language learning students. CMTA remains deeply concerned about any K-12 finance reform effort that completely eliminates funding for CTE courses.

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