Gov. Jerry Brown won’t speak the words “weighted student funding formula” when he presents a new state budget next week, along with his plan to refashion the state’s complex and inequitable school finance system. The concept of funneling more education dollars to high-needs children is very much alive, and Brown will press the Legislature to act on it this year. But rebranding his plan to reform school finance is one of the changes that the governor will make to seek more support than he got last year when he introduced a similar plan.
Department of Finance officials and Brown’s advisers won’t disclose the new name. But they say the governor wants to clear up misperceptions associated with a “weighted student formula” and to stress key features of the plan: transferring accountability and responsibility for spending decisions from Sacramento to local school boards, freeing up dollars through flexibility and simplifying an inscrutably complex funding system.