A few thoughts about SFUSD’s connection to state and federal policies and funding...
State. You may have seen Governor Brown recently proposed that the state fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)* this year, instead of two years from now as originally projected. This is great. However, “fully funding” means we will only hit pre-recession funding numbers. We will only be back to where we were in 2007-2008 - ten years ago, when California was nearly the lowest of all 50 states in how much we spent on public education. So, we will need to continue fighting to increase this amount. I’ve been advocating on this issue for many years as part of the California State PTA Board of Managers and Education Commission, as the Second District PTA Legislation Chair, on the steering committees of several education funding-related ballot measures, and more, and will continue to fight on behalf of all 56,000 SFUSD students.
There are many other issues coming up over the next couple of years that will affect how we education some of our highest needs students. The state will be looking at how we deliver special education and how we support English learners, among many other things. I have the background that allows me to hit the ground running, connecting the dots with how these policies will affect our students.
Federal. We need to stand together against the policies and budget cuts proposed by Donald Trump and his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to ensure that this country continues to invest in public education.
Public education is the best hope we have as a country at achieving equity and providing ALL children an opportunity to succeed in college, career and life. Voucher programs like DeVos has proposed would divest critical resources from our public school system, negatively affecting the nearly 51 million students across the country who attend our public schools. Federal funding would instead flow to schools that often lack the open admission guarantees and civil rights protections of public schools. Other budget cuts Trump and DeVos have proposed would cut programs like Title 2 that support teacher training, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grants that fund afterschool programs.
*LCFF is the way California funds its schools. The formula is weighted based on the number of students a district serves who are either foster youth, qualify for free or reduced price meals, or are English language learners.