A 15% increase in what the state gives to K-12 schools each year has the support of State Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, who chairs the education committee of this branch of legislation.
This hike is the crux of the Assembly Bill of 1948, a bill drafted by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco. After it was passed by the Assembly Education Committee last week, O’Donnell praised it.
“This bill has a huge impact on the future of California and on California’s children,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “I know AB 1948 can help reduce class sizes and help add more school counselors. With this year’s budget surplus, the money is there and it needs to go into the classroom.
Ting’s bill would apply to the base Local Control Funding Formula grant given to school districts and charter schools. It would also expand the definition of low-income student to 250% of the federal poverty level that year.
And it would add homeless students as one of the targeted categories of disadvantaged students, which determines eligibility for additional or concentration grants from the state.
The bill also addresses the need to continue conversations about further protecting school budgets in the face of declining attendance and declining enrollment. Most school districts in the state, including Long Beach Unified, have lost significant enrollment numbers over the past decade, and the coronavirus pandemic appears to have accelerated that process.
“Schools are entitled to more funding to better serve all of our children, which is why my bill increases the state budget allocation for our school funding formula by 15 percent,” Ting said in a statement. communicated. “It is also time to re-examine the fairness and appropriateness of the local control funding formula.
“The fact that this legislation was passed (in the Education Committee on Wednesday 27 April) unanimously and with bipartisan support,” he added, “shows the importance of investing in future of our children.
The bill is currently awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.