LA Unified asking community for ideas on state spending plan
Chase Niesner | January 13, 2014
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With the State Board of Education meeting later this week to set a new funding plan for public education, LAUSD officials today sought ideas from community-based groups for putting the money to best use.
Speaking to the representatives at the downtown office of the California Endowment, Superintendent John Deasy applauded the plan, known as the Local Control Funding Formula, which he said will ensure state support for students with the greatest needs.
“We’re not confused,” Deasy said. “We lift youth out of poverty, period.”
Still to be determined is how the spending will be carried out in such a way school districts can honor the “local” in the Local Control Funding Formula.
Edgar Zazueta, Deasy’s Chief of Staff for external affairs, said today’s meeting was a first step in crafting the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which must be submitted to the state in July.
“It’s a collective process,” Zazueta told LA School Report. “These groups, these representatives of the stakeholders, are the avenues to reach more local populations, and we want to take these issues to a more local crowd as well.”
Pedro Salcido, the district’s legislative liaison, said the district is “creating other forums for getting greater community feedback on this issue.”
After Deasy’s address, attendees met in smaller groups to discuss how the spending plan might impact certain “priority areas,” such as parent engagement, student achievement and school climate.
One school board who attended, Steve Zimmer, said that he’s hoping for a balanced approach from the state and cautioned against framing issues as an all-or-nothing choice between the local school sites and the district.
Zimmer said he believes some guidelines, such as summer school rules and class size, should be set by the district, and that school sites should have to justify any alternative approach.
“A meeting such as this is one thing, but not the only thing to consider,” Zimmer told LA School Report. “More important are the genuinely grass roots meetings that will take place across all the LAUSD districts.”
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