“Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fair Share 4 Kids is a statewide campaign in support of equitable school funding in California. Coalition partners are committed to working together to make sure that the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) lives up to its promise to provide additional resources to low-income students, English Learners, and foster youth.
In July 2013, Governor Jerry Brown dramatically reformed the way we fund school districts in California. The new law is called “Local Control Funding Formula” or “LCFF.” It shifts California’s formerly inequitable and irrational way of funding schools to a simpler “need-based” education funding formula for students. LCFF does the following:
- Increases funding for all districts with additional resources for low-income students, English learners, and foster youth;
- Removes bureaucratic red tape that bogs down money sent to local school districts;
- Increases local control, giving local school districts more options on how to best use funds.
With more funding targeted at high-need learners, schools districts can spend money on what matters, such as:
- Extending learning time by adding afterschool learning activities that complement school day instruction and engage students
- Providing safe, supportive school environments by investing in counselors, targeted instructional and behavioral supports, and drop-out prevention programs
- Expanding English language development services
This new law holds the promise of improved educational outcomes for California’s most underserved learners. That promise, however, will only be realized if the law is implemented, as it was created, with equity and fairness in mind.
Heather Barondess, Carrie Hahnel, and Jonathon Stewart, “Tipping the Scale Towards Equity: Making Weighted Student Formula Work for California’s Highest-Need Students,” (Oakland, Calif.: The Education Trust—West, October 2012).
Heather Barondess, Laura Schroeder, and Carrie Hahnel, “The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts,” (Oakland, Calif.: The Education Trust—West, February 2012).
The Education Trust—West, “California’s Hidden Teacher Spending Gap: How State and District Budgeting Practices Shortchange Poor and Minority Students and Their Schools,” (Oakland, Calif.: The Education Trust—West, 2005).