Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Parents to weigh in on how school districts spend new funds

A student on his way to school walks past a Los Angeles Unified School District bus.
A student on his way to school walks past a Los Angeles Unified School District bus.

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A new report out Monday by the State’s Legislative Analyst spells out accountability measures school districts must meet under California’s new funding formula, which gives district with lots of low-income or English-learning students more money - and more control over how to spend it.

One significant requirement: schools must get input from parents about how to spend the money.

The LAO said districts have until July to adopt a Local Control Accountability Plan that spells out what “high quality educational programs” they will fund.  They have to show how those programs benefit low income, English learner and foster care children -  and they have to share all this information with parents.

“The goal here is for parents to be more engaged in what’s going on” said one of the report’s authors, Edgar Cabral, “and not just sort of at the end looking back at what school districts have done, but even in the beginning stages of developing a plan.”  

Cabral said districts have to meet with English Learner Advisory groups or other parent groups formed to review the funding plans. Parents will be able to provide comments and the school districts must respond, in writing.

Among other goals, the money is supposed to help districts meet new learning standards called the Common Core.

Patty Scripter, with the California State PTA, is thrilled with the new requirement and said they will go a long way to building better schools.

“Successful districts are ones where they’re transparent about what their goals are and how they’re going to get there," she aid.  "And they include parents and community members in the process.”