Funding For A State Mandated Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum
The People for Student Rights Web Site is New!
As a Parent/Advocate I have been following California Education Funding, and the Capistrano Unified School District since 2006. The great recession placed an extraordinary burden on School Districts, leaving many on life support to this day.
Due to a lack of funding from the State of California, the Capistrano Unified School District has been forced to cut over $152 million from it's budget since 2006.
The cuts have been so deep, that CUSD still suffers from some of the highest class sizes in the nation, and many of our students have no art or music programs. Many schools have no counselors, librarians, or school nurses. Our facilities are old and have not been adequately maintained. Parents have been asked to fund programs like art, music and science through donations. Parents are now fundraising for reduced class sizes, instructional aids, and even teacher compensation and release time. The burden has proven to be to great for some of the poorer schools in our District, and we now have schools within our District that are not receiving core educational programs because they cannot fundraise to pay for so many different things.
Relying on fundraising to pay for core educational programs is creating wealth based inequities within the District- meaning that the quality of education your child receives is dependent on the ability for parents to raise funds. That is wrong. Every student in California is entitled to a quality education - "...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." [Serrano v. Priest II (1976) 18 Cal. 3d 748]
The recession is over. The State of California is enjoying record high revenues of $117 billion dollars; yet, the State's new funding law limits K-12 per pupil funding to 2007-08 levels +inflation by the year 2021. In 2007-08 State revenues were $105 billion.
The State has "surplus revenues" but is choosing not to fund K-12 public education.
The State has sufficient revenues to provide every student with a quality education and my mission is to get additional funding for our students from the State of California using laws that are currently on the books, but are no longer being enforced. This is a two-pronged approach- working as an advocate at the District level by attending Board meetings and by drafting a complaint to be filed in Federal Court if no other recourse is available. The Complaint is a living document that is on this web site for everyone to see. The following time line shows the work that is being done at the District level to advocate for sufficient funding for all students in the Capistrano Unified School District.