Gov. Brown calls for redistribution of school funding

April 24, 2013

By Katy Grimes


Citing a lack of civil rights and social inequities as what is wrong with California public schools, Gov. Jerry Brown vowed Wednesday at a Capitol press conference to give more money to the K-12 school districts that serve poorer students and English-language learners.

Brown said state funding needs to balance social equity and restore school funding cuts; and provide supplemental funding to children in high-poverty schools.

Following passage of Proposition 30 last November, raising taxes $6 billion, Brown’s controversial plan to shift money from wealthier schools to poor ones is a result of an emboldened Democratic supermajority.

Lawmakers and the governor are clearly preparing for the state’s looming June 15 budget deadline, with Brown working hard to get his proposal passed. Earlier this week, state Senate Democrats announced they had their own education funding proposal, but it involves significantly less state funding. However, both plans call for a large redistribution of state funding from middle class and wealthier schools to schools which serve poorer, non-English speaking immigrant students.

The Senate’s proposal requires a one-year wait before implementation. But Brown and the Superintendents with him at the press conference said they supported making the funding immediate.

Brown’s plan

“Under Brown’s formula, all students would receive a base grant that restores most of the money that districts have lost since 2007-08,” education journalist John Fensterwald recently explained at EdSource. “In addition, districts would receive an additional 35 percent — about $2,375  — for every English learner or low-income child. The concentration grant would be phased in on top of that. For districts with only high-needs students, it would provide an extra 18 percent: $1,120 per child — a significant boost for urban districts like Fresno, Santa Ana and Long Beach.”

However, both plans from Democrats would insure that all school districts have spending levels fully restored.

“The level of inequity hasn’t gotten better, it’s gotten worse,” Brown said. But he neglected to acknowledge that this inequity has grown under Democratic control of the state. Instead, Brown said the way to diminish the increasing socioeconomic gap between the poor and the wealthy in California is to funnel even more funding to schools with English-language learners and poorer students.

The governor’s proposal would primarily benefit urban and rural districts in economically poor areas. Wealthier suburban schools would not benefit from his proposal.

“The formula, as proposed, looks at struggle and peril,” Brown said.

Superintendents behind Brown’s proposal

School superintendents from public school districts throughout the state joined the governor at the press conference.

“Without this, we’re not going to have every student accessing this thing we call ‘the American Dream,’” Superintendent John Deasy from the Los Angeles Unified School District said. “To delay this funding formula is intolerable. Equity delayed is equity denied.”

Sacramento City Unified School district Superintendent Jonathan Raymond echoed Deasy’s comments, “Not to do this is immoral and criminal.”

Raymond lauded Brown’s proposal and said that, despite the state’s challenges, this is the moment to fix poverty in schools.

“I have three words for you to take away,” said Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools. “Flexible, accountability, equity, and local control.” Oops. “Well, four words,” she added, missing the fifth word. “It’s not good enough for a wealthy child to be successful.”

But others say any additional school funding should be shared equally by all school districts, and only then should extra money be used to target disadvantaged students.

The Brown reform also doesn’t address the problem of overall school reform, in particular getting rid of abusive and incompetent teachers that remain protected by the teachers unions. Shifting money from suburban schools to poor schools won’t help if the taxpayers’ dollars only go to improve the decor in the “rubber rooms” where bad teachers are parked — while drawing full pay, benefits and pensions points.

Brown’s cause

“This is a cause,” Brown said. “60 percent of kids going to school in California are poor, or speak a language other than English.”

“I’m going to do everything I can to see this bill passes this year,” he added, “Increasingly, this state is turning into a two-tier society. Those at the top are doing better and better and those in the middle and the bottom are doing worse and worse. The very least that we can do is invest in our schools in a way that recognizes reality.”

The redistribution

Brown said his proposal to overhaul California’s school financing formula and to shift more money to poor and English-learning students is a matter of “civil rights.” He promised to give opponents “the battle of their lives.”

“This is a matter of equity and civil rights,” Brown said. “So if people are going to fight it, they’re going to get the battle of their lives, because I’m not going to give up until the last hour, and I’m going to fight with everything I have, and whatever we have to bring to bear in this battle, we’re bringing it.”

Brown said today the measure is “not an ordinary legislative matter,” but ” a cause for the children of California. This is about the issue of what California needs to be equitable, and the Democratic Party is about equity.”

Brown was asked if he is open to renegotiating the base amount paid to all students. “We have different kinds of families,” Brown said. “We politicians usually deal with upper. But I want to help these kids. The facts of life in California are deep inequities. We’re dealing with the facts of life.”


Write a comment
  1. larry 62
    larry 62 24 April, 2013, 16:36

    And how many of the 60% are here illegally? Apparently California is prepared to educate the world and to hell with the financial impact on the citizens that work and pay the freight.

    Reply this comment
  2. Tax Target
    Tax Target 24 April, 2013, 16:59

    Wait until the wealthy figure out that living in their “tony” neighborhood will result in an education quality that is less than the inner city schools. I anticipate one of two things happening: Either those fine citizens will leave Kalifornsky (probably the right choice), or for those very well to do, little Johnny will go to a private school.

    Good luck if you’re upper middle class. You won’t stand a chance!

    Reply this comment
  3. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 24 April, 2013, 17:28

    What a load of horse****.

    Everyone knows what the “problem” is, and it’s not school spending. It’s the huge tide of peasantry that has flooded this state in the past 30 years, and there is no amount of money you can throw at it that will fix it in the near- or even medium-term.

    Any “fix” can only be organic, i.e. once the “community” itself decides to stop being burros (Jamie Escalante’s words in Stand and Deliver – not mine), and then only with passage of a generation or two.

    What does Brown take us for……idiots?


    Reply this comment
  4. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 24 April, 2013, 17:43

    and related, in a broader sense…….Ann Coulter re: the Boston bombing suspects

    I like Ann Coulter. She deliberately says outrageous things and engages in extreme hyperbole, which she knows makes liberals’ heads explode. But she can also makes some pretty accurate observations….

    “…. Our immigration policy has nothing to do with helping America. It has to do with resolving the internal problems of other countries. We’ll take Russia’s radicals, we’ll take the illiterate, low-skilled workers from all these other countries. We’ll take their old people and put them on our supplemental security insurance (SSI) and Medicare.

    No, your immigration policy is supposed to be to make your country better, not to make it worse and to create all those problems. Lindsay Graham was on some show this weekend saying this shows how we need better tracking. I’m thinking this shows how we need better immigrants.”

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 24 April, 2013, 18:33

    I saw Coulter’s interview where she said that. We need more candor like hers.

    What scares me is the call for social justice for the poor and immigrants, and doing this through state run and funded schools. This is what lawmakers and our governor are doing instead of educating the state’s children.


    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 25 April, 2013, 00:24

    Ck out Alabama primary education…..public schools are a disaster……private schools booming.

    Schools in nation’s capital are pathetic. Funding is very very very high……

    Gov Brown just may not see what doesn’t work ……..more money for bad schools!

    Reply this comment
  7. Bill - San Jose
    Bill - San Jose 25 April, 2013, 07:49

    Oh, you didn’t know that Brown was a communist?

    100,000 new schools not ran by or influenced by this government or ANY government is the right answer for the next generation.

    Let’s get it done.

    Reply this comment
  8. fish
    fish 25 April, 2013, 07:55

    Queef….kudos on your string of Larry King like “Random Thoughts”.

    Ck out Alabama primary education…..

    more money for bad schools….

    Funding is very very very high……

    Gov Brown just may not see what doesn’t work…..

    I imagine that if there was ever a political debate on the surface of the sun, the discourse would be heated……

    On El Al airlines my silverware was cold to the touch…….

    Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always glanced at Italy whenever I’m near a globe……..

    For as long as I live, I’ll always think fondly of optical illusions…….

    I think Americans have given up on the potpie……….

    So where did the bag with dinner go……..

    He was once dubbed the world’s greatest athlete. Now he looks like an old lesbian……

    Oh Queef….you’ve done it again.

    Reply this comment
  9. Hondo
    Hondo 25 April, 2013, 09:03

    The parents in San Marino won’t be happy sending their property tax dollars to La Puente, where I went to grade school. As Washington DC proves, pouring idiotic amounts of money into bad schools with bad parents, doesn’t work. Busing to achieve racial equality only takes huge amount of money out of the classroom and spends it on bus drivers instead of teachers.
    The problem is generational welfare which destroys the desire to work and to achieve. You can’t really blame the union teachers except that they support all the welfare too.

    Reply this comment
  10. RT
    RT 25 April, 2013, 10:40

    More money? They have dumbed down the schools by focusing on socialization instead of education. They have low expectations of students and teachers.
    So more money ?

    Reply this comment
  11. double l
    double l 25 April, 2013, 11:51

    Years ago, students were placed in classes with comparable learning capabilities. Then mainstreaming became popular because the powers that be decided assembling similar learning students in the same class was a form of segregation. Today in some cases, students may be pulled out of regular classes for specialized instruction and then sent back to their regular class. Students should be taught to their learning abilities and not mainstreamed until they become proficient in all subjects. If these schools need more resources, they should be provided; but there should be a very strict accounting for these funds based on testing results.

    Reply this comment
  12. Steve
    Steve 25 April, 2013, 16:43

    RT is right on ! They have dumbed down the schools by focusing on socialization instead of education and no amount of money can fix that.
    Expectations of students and teachers? It will never happen.
    What do you call a school that does not educate ? A long term daycare center.

    Reply this comment
  13. Queeg
    Queeg 26 April, 2013, 23:32

    The Carp was educated in Adelanto….

    Reply this comment
  14. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 27 April, 2013, 08:25

    CWD savants! Arrise!

    Reply this comment
  15. fish
    fish 27 April, 2013, 09:08

    The Carp was educated in Adelanto….

    Flatus Vaginalis you restoreth my soul.

    CWD savants! Arrise!

    “Arise Spell Check………!

    I’m surprised you didn’t bust me for botching my “your/you’re” selections horribly this past week. Maybe you have been too preoccupied with …young, fit, brave, hot, sweaty first responders to respond adequately. NTTATWWT.

    Reply this comment
  16. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 28 April, 2013, 16:23

    Carp agitated! You’re in need of soothing sabbath epistles from our man Teddy, the only bonafide, certified sage on CWD!

    Reply this comment
  17. fish
    fish 28 April, 2013, 17:15

    Ulysses….you do know that Ted=Ulysses & Ulysses=Ted…..don’t you?

    Invent another blog character to “support” your otherwise weak assed opinions. Queef is another one of the sockpuppets floating around too. I can see if I can arrange an introduction if you would like.

    Pack and Ship U….pack and ship.

    Reply this comment
  18. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 28 April, 2013, 19:20

    Carp hoagies on menu at your truck stop job in Adelanto!

    Reply this comment
  19. fish
    fish 28 April, 2013, 22:20

    Here U point to the spot the where the nice man touched you? Yes you can use the doll.

    And again….it happened in Adelanto?

    Reply this comment

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