By John Affeldt
Kudos to Jerry Brown for proposing to end the inequities in California school funding – and shame on the districts that seek to fossilize the advantages they have enjoyed for decades now.
Brown is the first governor in recent times to acknowledge what the education community and funding experts have known for years: Our public schools are funded irrationally and inequitably based on outdated formulas bearing no relation to student need. As the Getting Down to Facts studies and the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence acknowledged, similar sized districts with similar student demographics receive widely varying amounts of state support for no rational reason. A recent Education Trust–West analysis concluded that California’s highest poverty districts receive $620 less per student from state and local sources than the state’s wealthiest districts. Individual district comparisons evidence disparities running to thousands of dollars per student.