SRVUSD requests State funding formula be amended

by Terry Koehne:          

SRVUSD Concerned with State Education Funding Formula Proposal

Board of Education sites issues of equity and requests Formula to be amended

The Board of Education for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District adopted a resolution calling on Governor Brown and the California State Legislature to amend the Governor’s proposed “Local Control Funding Formula” to provide an adequate level of base funding to appropriately meet the needs of its students.

The goal of the proposed formula is to provide more flexibility to local districts and governing boards, while delivering a simpler and more equitable K-12 education funding system. The District believes however, that the new proposed system in its current form, is inherently flawed.

“While we believe, in theory, that this is a good time for such a change, we also have some deep concerns associated with LCFF,” said Superintendent Mary Shelton. “Not only is the base-funding level too low for us to provide an appropriate education to our students, but there is no provision for districts that continue to experience growth in student enrollment. This is a major flaw.”

Shelton and several members of the District’s PTA Legislative Advocacy group traveled to Sacramento this week to appear before the State Assembly’s Education Budget Subcommittee.

“Our goal was to appear before them in person and let them know how this formula will negatively impact our students,” said Heidi Emerson, President of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs.

In the resolution adopted at its Tuesday meeting, the Board of Education called upon the Governor and State Legislature to “include a Base Grant funding level sufficient to deliver core content and services within the state’s expectations, including graduation rates, college and workforce readiness, kindergarten readiness, transition to the Common Core and to provide funding for enrollment growth at an amount per ADA equal to the amount received for base ADA (Average Daily Attendance).”

In addition, the District is concerned about another flaw in the formula that will unfairly punish school districts that continue to experience growth in student enrollment. According to the new formula, SRVUSD’s projected State funding level for 2013-14 is $5,994 per student, an increase of approximately $146/student from the current 2012-13 level. If the District grows by its projection of 500 students next year, however, the per-pupil revenue from the State would be adjusted to $5907/student, an increase of only $60/student.

“This means that districts that are growing actually lose money,” said Shelton. “We are already the fourth lowest funded unified district in the State, and if this flaw is not fixed, districts like ours will continue to lag further and further behind in per-pupil funding. Not only is this inadequate, it is inherently wrong to consider implementing the formula before the flaws have been fixed.”