By Karla Scoon Reid, EdSource correspondent
To weather deep cuts in public school funding, many California school districts shifted much-needed dollars away from repairing and maintaining their buildings to keep teachers in the classroom and save instructional programs from being eliminated.
Now, the state’s new funding formula, which allocates much of the increased school revenue to high-needs students, provides some latitude for districts to fix their ailing buildings too.
While there has been an assumption that only base grant dollars — the funds allocated to districts for all students — can be used for building repairs and improvements, that’s not necessarily the case under the Local Control Funding Formula’s current regulations. But what’s considered an allowable use of money targeted for high-needs students – defined as English-language learners, low-income children and foster youth – gets somewhat murky when it comes to school facilities.