Budget & Finance

How California’s Changes to Public School Spending Fit in a Broad Context

By Andrew Ujifusa — December 10, 2014 1 min read

Roughly two years after California voters approved a tax increase that enabled lawmakers to dramatically overhaul the state’s system of funding public schools, the state’s Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans are now fully underway. You can now read my story about California’s new school finance system that was published Dec. 4.

The way that system works makes for an interesting story, but I also wanted to look at what Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials are doing and ask a different question: How does the philosophy behind the new system differ from many state education policy initiatives and debates?

I discuss that perspective in this audio report below.

Keep something else in mind: The basis for the new funding formula and accountability plans can largely be found in a paper that Michael Kirst, the president of the state board of education, wrote along with Alan Bersin and Goodwin Liu for the University of California, Berkeley Law School in 2008.

However, when I talked to Kirst in San Jose about two months ago about that paper, he said that one policy proposal that’s included in that paper didn’t make it into the state’s new school finance system. He identifies that missing piece in the video that I shot with Kirst in October:

If you’re interested in a bit of history, you can read that 2008 paper, “Getting Beyond the Facts: Reforming California School Finance,” below:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.