By Dan Walters
California school districts were granted extraordinary flexibility in implementing a historic overhaul of public education finance to provide more help to “high-needs” poor and English-learner students.
The flexibility Brown and the state Board of Education granted disturbed an informal coalition of civil rights and education reform groups. They feared that the extra allocations of funds for nearly 60 percent of California’s 6 million-plus students would be dissipated into teacher salaries and other general uses, rather than concentrated on the targeted kids.
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union surveyed the “local control accountability plans” of 40 large districts and found them wanting.
Just one of the LCAPs the ACLU studied addressed the eight required “metrics.” Moreover, most districts couldn’t account for extra money they had been allocated and didn’t explain why they were using LCFF funds for other purposes.