Local Control Funding Formula


 

California's new education funding law: AB- 97 School Finance - Local Control Funding Formula distributes K- 12 per pupil funding using the following formula:

Base Grant + Supplemental Grant + Concentration Grant = Per Pupil Funding 

The "Base Grant" is universal for all students. 

The "Supplemental Grant" provides additional funding to districts based on the percentage of students in the district that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care. 

The "Concentration Grant" provides even more funding for districts that have large concentrations of students that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care.

Those districts with a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care are funded solely by the Base Grant. As such, the Base Grant needs to be sufficient enough to provide every K-12 student in the State with an equal opportunity to achieve a quality education. "Equal Opportunity to Achieve a Quality Education" has been defined by the courts [Serrano v. Priest II (1976) 18 Cal. 3d 748] to be "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings." 

The "Base Grant" for each LEA (local educational agency "district") is equivalent to $7,643 per average daily attendance (ADA). The actual base grants vary based on grade span.

Source: California Department of Education Local Control Funding Formula Overview: http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcffoverview.asp

A Base Funding Grant of $7,643 per student is not sufficient to provide any student with "equal opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings" as evidenced by the following:

The law creates very large discrepancies in per pupil funding across Districts within Orange County as evidenced below:

Source: Capistrano Unified School District 2015-16 Proposed Budget - slide 11 of 14 http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1229223560406/1218998864154/477840769540465084.pdf 

The law provides for even greater discrepancies in per pupil funding across the entire State. As an example, per pupil funding in the New Jerusalem Elementary School District is $106,031 per student, while the lowest per pupil funding in the state is $5,819 per student in the Richmond Elementary School District. 

Source: California Department of Education Current Expense of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/currentexpense.asp * Orange County is Code #30, San Joaquin County is Code #39 and Lassen County is Code #18

 

The Cost to Educate A Student in California:

In 2006 the State Commissioned a study to determine the cost to "adequately" educate a student in California with special needs weightings. The 2007-08 Calculated per pupil costs with special needs weightings were found to be: 

Source: Efficiency and Adequacy in California School Finance: A Professional Judgment Approach https://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/19-AIR-PJP-Report(3-07).pdf at page Xiii

According to the State's own study (conducted in 2007-08), the cost to "adequately" educate a student in a suburban school district was between $10,726 and $12,077.  According to the State's own study, per pupil funding of $7,643 would not be a sufficient amount of funding to provide an "adequate" education to any student; not in 2007-08, not in 2015-16 and certainly not in 2020-21. 

 

The Local Control Funding Formula law limits K-12 funding to 2007-08 levels by the year 2021.

Source: California Department of Education Local Control Funding Formula Overview: http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcffoverview.asp

Source: http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2013/edu/lcff/lcff-072913.aspx

The Capistrano Unified School District 's Growth Target is per pupil funding of $8,271 by the year 2021.

Per Pupil funding of $8,271 was determined by the State's own study, to be insufficient in 2007-08. It will surly be insufficient in 2020-21 as employees continue to receive COLA, step and column salary increases, and health and welfare benefit increases. In addition to employee costs, there are facilities repair and maintenance costs, the costs associated with the restoration of class sizes  and programs that were cut to balance the district budget during the great recession. Since 2006, the Capistrano Unified School District cut $152 million from it's budget. $8,271 is insufficient to bring the quality of educational services back to an adequate level.

The State cannot, in good faith, freeze revenues at 2007-08 levels; while expenses continue to climb, and have a reasonable expectation that districts are receiving sufficient funding to "... obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings." 

Source: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1392894044236

The continued lack of adequate funding has resulted in a noticeable decline in academic performance across all demographics. See LCAP.

 

Article XVI, §8 of the California Constitution

The California Constitution gives education funding a unique priority above all other state funding obligations by requiring that:

"... from all state revenues there shall first be set apart the monies to be applied by the State for support of the public school system..." [Cal. Const. art. XVI, §8.] (emphasis added)

The State of California is currently enjoying the greatest tax revenue in its history at $117,445 billion dollars. In 2007-08 tax revenues were $105,361 billion.

Source: California Department of Finance - Chart A Historical Data General Fund Budget Summary. http://www.dof.ca.gov/budgeting/budget_faqs/information/documents/CHART-A.pdf

California is failing and refusing to meet its constitutionally mandated obligation to allocate sufficient funding to provide every student in California with substantially equal opportunities to achieve a quality education as defined by the Courts in [Serrano v. Priest II (1976) 18 Cal. 3d 748] to be "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings."

The State of California is knowingly and intentionally underfunding K-12 public education so that "surplus" revenue can be spent on new programs and entitlements that are not constitutionally mandated.

If the State of California want's to change the spending priorities of the State, it is required to do so with a Constitutional Amendment. The State of California cannot violate the civil rights of students by failing to up-hold it's own Constitution. Taxpayers and the Public have no alternative but to turn to the Courts to compell the State to increase the base funding grant to a level that sufficient to provide EVERY K-12 student with equal opportunity to achieve a quality education as defined as the Courts "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings."

 

The Complaint

This complaint is being brought in Federal Court on the grounds that the State of California's new education funding law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and and Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution, commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution. California's new education funding law deprives every student of an opportunity to achieve an adequate education by intentionally setting the Base Funding Grant below what it costs to provide a student with even a basic education. Every district must be given sufficient funding to provide its' students with an "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings."

The complaint also alleges that the State is using California's Education funding law to intentionally underfund districts that have a low percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or are in Foster Care; and is in fact, using the State's education funding system to promote a political agenda to redistribute wealth rather than educate students. Such discrimination constitutes invidious discrimination because it deprives every student attending school in a district with a low percentage of students that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch, and/or in Foster Care of an adequate education simply because of where they happen to live, and irrespective of a students individual wealth, race or ethnicity. Such invidious discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and and Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution, commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution.

This complaint goes further than seeking a constitutional review of the States new education funding law and increased funding for K-12 public education. This law suit is a direct attack on the way in which California has chosen to raise and disburse local tax revenues. This complaint alleges that the State of California is engaging in explicit hostile and oppressive discrimination against all taxpayers and students that happen to live in a district with a low percentage of students that are English Language Learners, Receiving Free and Reduced Lunch and/or are in Foster Care simply because of where they live and irrespective of their individual wealth, race or ethnicity. Such invidious discrimination violates Article XVI, § 8 of the California Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and and Article I § 7 and Article 4 § 16 of the California Constitution, commonly known as the equal protection laws of California's Constitution.

The California Constitution gives education funding a unique priority above all other state funding obligations by requiring

"from all state revenues there shall FIRST be set apart the monies to be applied by the State for support of the public school system..." Cal. Const. art. XVI, §8. (Emphasis added)

The State of California cannot shift spending priorities from the Constitutionally mandated K-12 Public Education system to fund new programs and entitlements that are not constitutionally mandated without a Constitutional Amendment. This lawsuit is being brought to force the State of California to meet it's Constitutional obligation to provide every student with an equal opportunity to achieve a quality education by providing sufficient funding to "...opportunity to obtain high quality staff, program expansion and variety, beneficial teacher-pupil ratios and class sizes, modern equipment and materials, and high-quality buildings."