On January 10, Governor Brown released the State budget proposal, which is typically revised in May. The proposal includes full investment in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCCF) two years ahead of schedule. While the Governor is high profile in celebrating this success, it is important to know that the full implementation of the LCFF target means that we have only returned to the budget of 2007, just prior to the recession. Additionally, the modest revenue increases with the full implementation of LCFF have been completely eroded (and then some) by rapidly increasing costs for health care, pensions, transportation and utilities. Lastly, we have been informed that federal Title funds will be greatly reduced. In other words, we still won't experience returning completely to the financial situation we were in eleven years ago.
The reality for school districts in California is that full funding of LCFF is simply not what our students deserve. California has the sixth largest economy in the world, and the largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any state in the nation, yet California ranks 45th nationally in the percentage of taxable income spent on education, 41st in per-pupil funding, 45th in pupil-teacher ratios, and 48th in pupil-staff ratios. California funds schools at roughly $1,961 per student less than the national average, which translates to approximately $3,462 per student when adjusted for California being a high-cost state; and California trails the average of the top 10 states by almost $7,000 in per-pupil funding.
We have serious legislative advocacy work to do to provide adequacy of funding for education in California.To that end, at their meeting on January 18, the Board of Trustees adopted a Resolution calling for Full and Fair Funding of California's Public Schools. They urged the State Legislature to fund California public schools at the national average or higher by the year 2020, and at a level that is equal to or above the average of the top 10 states nationally by 2025 and to maintain, at a minimum, this level of funding until otherwise decreed.
Thank you to our Trustees for their ongoing support of public education and their work on behalf of the South Bay community. Please join me in championing this effort to support our students!