Gov. Brown on local control spending: ‘A major breakthrough’
LA School Report | January 5, 2015
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Gov. Jerry Brown had a few words to say about public education in his State of the State address today.
In effect, he saluted his effort to return more control over spending to the state’s school districts. Here’s what he had to say:
“Last year, I spoke of the principle of subsidiarity, a rather clunky word that nevertheless points to a profoundly important principle, namely that in our federal system there are separate layers of government, each with its own distinct responsibilities. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a “central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.”
“No better example of this can be found than in your enactment last year of the Local Control Funding Formula. This was a major breakthrough in the way funds are allocated to California’s schools so that our laws explicitly recognize the difficult problems faced by low-income families and those whose first language is other than English. As a result, those with less are going to receive more and that is good for all of us.
“But something else is at work in this Local Control Funding Formula. Instead of prescriptive commands issued from headquarters here in Sacramento, more general goals have been established for each local school to attain, each in its own way. This puts the responsibility where it has to be: In the classroom and at the local district. With six million students, there is no way the state can micromanage teaching and learning in all the schools from El Centro to Eureka – and we should not even try!
“Last week, 324 people from across the state traveled to Sacramento to speak to the State Board of Education about the merits of this new law and the regulations which should be adopted under it. Principals, teachers, students, parents, religious groups and lawyers, all came forward to express their views. Now that shows interest and real commitment! But their work is just beginning. Each local district now has to put into practice what the Local Control Funding Formula has made possible. That, together with new Common Core standards for math and English, will be a major challenge for teachers and local administrators. But they are the ones who can make it work and I have every confidence they will.”