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DAN WALTERS: Will big changes shape up California schools? | Opinion

Recently, big things have clearly happened in California’s public school system, which are certainly the lives of nearly 6 million kindergarten to high school students, as well as the state’s economic and social over the next few decades. It also affects happiness.

But unfortunately, it’s not very clear how they are intertwined and whether the long-term effects will be positive or negative.

In the beginning, schools are flooded with billions of new dollars, many from a good harvest of sales and income taxes, as well as another big injection of federal pandemic recovery cash.

The 2021-22 state budget allocates $ 123.9 billion in state and local funding for education from kindergarten to high school. That’s a record of $ 21,555 per student, about double that of 10 years ago, and is now ranked high in the state.

However, on the contrary, many school districts, especially urban school districts, are experiencing financial distress due to the declining enrollment. Long-term registration slides caused by lower fertility and immigration rates are exacerbated by pandemic-related effects. Some parents refuse to send their children to school because of fear of COVID-19, while others oppose compulsory vaccination.

Enrollment has fallen by more than 160,000 this year, and the Department of State predicts that by 2031, 700,000 students will drop from pre-pandemic levels.

School district income is largely determined by registration, but the state has frozen these formulas due to a pandemic outbreak and school closures last year. It protects the district from disastrous loss of income in the short term, and school authorities pressure Governor Gavin Christopher and legislators to protect the district from long-term decline by changing registration-based financing. I am.

By the way, for almost a decade, many public school aids have been allocated by demographic characteristics as well as registration. Districts with a significant number of poor English learner students expect their money to fill the “achievement gap” between them and their more privileged classmates, with additional per-students. I received a grant. About 60% of students from kindergarten to high school are considered “high needs”.

Former Governor Jerry Brown endorsed local government funding, but whether billions of dollars were spent educating targeted children, and that actually showed their academic performance. The state refused to monitor for improvements. He said he trusts local school officials to do the right thing.

Without state oversight, LCFF has not been evaluated for effectiveness. This month, the California Institute of Public Policy created a comprehensive overview packed with data and analysis. The oversimplified conclusion is that over half of the extra money is spent on the school where the student generated it, and so far it seems to have had a slight positive impact. is.

The new state’s budget doubles based on official estimates that LCFF is working, but PPIC’s research shows that the effect is concentrated and wisely spent on children in need of the most help. It depends on what is being done. It also shows that strengthening LCFF must be a factor in truly narrowing the achievement gap when moving away from registration-based financing as required by local government officials.

Finally, Newsom recently signed Act of Parliament 599. This puts a new tooth in the 2004 groundbreaking proceedings and ensures that poorly performing schools are properly repaired, with the latest materials and properly certified teachers in the local district. I ordered. By defining them, we establish a list of 2,000 schools that need to be inspected for compliance.

Will more money, more insights, and more surveillance give California shamefully poor academic performance compared to other states and even its rival Texas? Our future depends on it.

Send an email to Dan Walters of Cal Matters dan@calmatters.org.. CalMatters is a non-partisan, non-profit journalism venture dedicated to explaining how the California State Capitol works and why it matters. For other columns by Walters, calmatters.org/dan-walters..

DAN WALTERS: Will big changes shape up California schools? | Opinion Source link DAN WALTERS: Will big changes shape up California schools? | Opinion

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