Analysis: The Overall LCFF Funding Scheme and How DJUSD Fares Under It

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Superintendent Winfred Roberson
Superintendent Winfred Roberson

Last week DJUSD Superintendent Winfred Roberson, in his Vanguard column debut, discussed the impact of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan, part of the LCFF) on DJUSD. He noted, “The fundamental tenets of the LCFF are to return local control to school districts and to help create an ‘equitable’ K-12 public education system.”

He continued, “Writers of the LCFF acknowledged that it costs more to educate disadvantaged students and student who are learning English as a second language than it does to educate high-income students and students with educated parents.”

Mr. Roberson stated that he is frequently asked, “How does DJUSD make out under LCFF?” He stated, “In 2015-15, DJUSD is projected to receive an additional $300,000 as supplemental (equity) funding to specifically serve our targeted 2,300 students.”

He continues, “To make sure we are fulfilling our mission, it is imperative that Davis stakeholders join the district in the dialogue that attempts to answer the question, ‘What is the appropriate level of funding for our students?’”

California, he states, has not “reached universal agreement or even consensus on how much it actually costs to educate a K-12 student.”

Two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board argued that Governor Jerry Brown’s “school funding formula needs tweaking.” They call the idea “solid” but argue, “execution lags.”

“Few Californians may know it, but the state is in the midst of transforming the way it finances public education,” they write. “The goal of the change, spearheaded by Gov. Jerry Brown, is to direct more money to schools with tough-to-teach students.”

They call it “a worthy objective” but point to a report by the PPIC (Public Policy Institute of California) that suggests “that the new system might need some tweaking to live up to its promise.” The problem is that the need is great, as the PPIC reports that 63 percent of California’s 6.2 million public school students are considered high-need.

Half of students qualify for free or reduced lunches, while one-fourth of students are ELL (English Language Learners).

The Bee points out one problem: “In some districts, the high-need kids are concentrated in just a few schools. That means while those schools have all the challenges of highly concentrated schools elsewhere, they don’t get extra money because their entire district is not impacted.”

They write, “One of the goals of Brown’s reform was to have state money follow the students so that needs and the funding to meet them were better matched. In this case, the new system is falling short. The governor and the Legislature ought to consider a midcourse correction that directs even more of the money for high-need students to the schools in which they are actually enrolled.”

Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education, today argues that the funding formula is a success. He said that the Bee editorial “failed to acknowledge why the law intentionally targets concentrations of high-need students, and how county offices of education are helping ensure these students receive additional services.”

“The new funding formula directs additional dollars to districts with high-need students. Regulations require a district to increase or improve services for these students in proportion to the increase in funds,” he continues.

In a district where “supplemental funds are largely generated by students concentrated in a few of the district’s schools, the expectation is that these funds will be used in those schools, thus targeting resources on schools with the highest needs.”

Mr. Kirst continues: “The law requires local districts to develop outcome goals and related spending plans, and to update them annually in collaboration with community stakeholders. County offices of education now have a significant oversight role in ensuring that funds for high-need students result in additional or improved services for them.

“To improve outcomes for high-need students, districts must provide their schools more resources and support.”

Mr. Kirst adds: “The concentration of need, and its relative scope in a school district, all affect students’ performance in the classroom. Large concentrations of poverty in a wide geographic area, rather than a particular school, lead to fewer jobs in close proximity, lower quality in many public and private services for children, and weaker social networks.

“When school-level poverty is the basis for additional funding, it creates financial incentives to segregate low-income and minority children in a few schools within a higher-income school district. This has occurred in some states through excessive identification of special education students and as a result of previous formulas that increased funding for students designated as English learners.

“California purposely avoided such negative incentives by creating a funding formula that focuses on the districtwide concentration of high-need students.”

Under LCFF, Davis is disadvantaged as a high achieving and well educated, high-income school district. However, Superintendent Roberson maintains, “Although LCFF was not favorable for Davis schools I understand its overall purpose. In Davis we have a viable road map in our Board adopted Strategic Plan and we have a quality team of certificated and classified professionals dedicated to serve students and uphold our tradition of academic excellence and fiscal responsibility. It is true that we do not have the same per pupil spending power as neighboring districts but the DJUSD Board of Trustees and administration are committed to invest increased revenue into the program and professional employees that serve our students.”

Clearly, the school district has challenges. It has a growing Title I population and it has concentrations of higher-need students at certain schools.

However, Davis has built-in advantages that other districts do not, including a very supportive overall community.

LCFF, however, suggests that districts like Davis will have to rely more heavily on local funding sources, which means parcel taxes will become potentially more important as time goes on.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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71 thoughts on “Analysis: The Overall LCFF Funding Scheme and How DJUSD Fares Under It”

  1. Barack Palin

    Under LCFF, Davis is disadvantaged as a high achieving and well educated, high-income school district.

    What a concept.  The better your school performs the less money you receive.  It’s been found that pouring money into bad schools doesn’t really help much so maybe the plan is to bring down the good schools so they all end up being mediocre.  Before posters come on and say ‘dumb BS post’ or some other rude and ill informed response I’m of course being facetious.  I know that’s not the plan, but it doesn’t help the good schools maintain their level.  I guess it pays to NOT perform.

        1. Don Shor

          That study doesn’t show anything about “pouring money into bad schools.” It shows the impact statewide of increased education spending. The point of what Gov. Brown is doing is to target any funding increases to the schools with greatest need for resources.
          Since you’ve made a criticism, I am curious what your actual policy suggestion is. Exactly equal funding per pupil to all schools?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Not only that but the funding comes with requirements that it be used for specific purposes. I haven’t seen this approach taken before.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Which may or may not be true, but a different issue that the current plan.

        2. wdf1

          BP: I don’t find that standardized tests adequately measure what is relevant in education.  Coulson’s study also shows profound manipulation of statistics (some of which is discussed here).  Note that Coulson’s paper is not peer-reviewed by other scholars in the field.  That is a problem.  Here are some likely criticisms that would probably have come up in a peer review:

          By the logic of Coulson’s conclusion, you could also reduce education spending down to zero and get the same results — it wouldn’t matter.  Right away that tells me that there is a problem with this paper.

          What Coulson’s study also doesn’t acknowledge is that the numbers of students taking the SAT has increased over that period of time.  The number of students going to college in 2010 is more than went to college in 1970 (source).  This also reflects not just an increase in total students, but also in the percentage of students going to college in an age cohort.  To be able to sustain the same average SAT scores over that 40 year period actually represents a positive accomplishment of the education system over that period of time.

          Another difference between 1970 and 2010 is that what happens to students who don’t go to college has changed.  In 1970 a student might leave high school and go directly to a factory or some other blue collar job.  Now such a student might typically go to trade school or community college (for a 2-year associate degree or vocational certification).  SAT scores don’t track this population of students.

          Standardized tests do not directly measure the development of “soft skills” — persistence, creativity, aesthetic judgement, social skills, organizational skills, a range of problem solving strategies, etc.

        3. Joachim

          What is remarkable about the link you cited is that they have essentially charted two variables over time – adjusted spending and scores.  So you have what is most likely a complicated process that should be assessed using multivariate time-series analysis (I’m a social science professor), and instead they have run bivariate analyses using a variable that even they admit is not a great measure.

          With the flaw in the study you’ve cited aside, a bigger problem is that California is trying to do something differently than it has been done before and therefore past comparisons of spending and SATs isn’t particularly useful.

  2. MrsW

    This is just fyi.  I have family in the Palo Alto Unifed School District.  Their educational foundation’s “suggested donation” for parents is $800 per child and I’m told that in their literature to parents, they ask for $2500 per child. Here is a link  http://papie.org/

          1. Don Shor

            My current tax bill includes:
            Measure C 327.04
            Measure E 204.00
            Davis Jt UIn CFD #1 198.52
            plus two items (Davis JUSD and Los Rios CCD) that are prorated at 0.02 and 0.011300 per $100 assessed valuation.
            There’s also a library tax (99.10), the open space tax (26.84), and the landscape/lighting tax (53.68).

        1. Barack Palin

          Davis JUSD……$ 101

          Los Rios CCD ……57

          JT UNIF  (C)  ….327

          JT UNIF  (E)……204

          Landscape………49

          Davis CFD…….269

          Open Space……24

          Library……….99

          Jt UN CFD…….199

          JT UN CFD 2….778

          For a grand total of $2107 in extra assessments.

          Many of us are tapped out.

  3. Joachim

    I can understand the need to put money into school districts with at risk kids.  But really all schools need more resources.  We need to figure out a better way to fund schools.  Maybe we need to start looking more at hybrid models for funding and public-private partnerships.

    1. Frankly

      Schools don’t NEED more resources.  The employees of the education system just want more money and with their unions they have perfected the “starve quality to make a case for more money” narrative.

      But as already pointed out there is absolutely no, none, nada, zero… evidence that spending more money improves student outcomes.   We have copious evidence all around the nation.  Many of the states with the strongest education outcomes have the lowest funding per student.   States and locations with the highest funding per student are at the very bottom of student outcomes.

      What we need is a completely different model for the business of public school education.  It is mostly a adult jobs program as it is designed today.

      1. wdf1

        Frankly:  The employees of the education system just want more money and with their unions they have perfected the “starve quality to make a case for more money” narrative.

        If K-12 educators go into their profession for the money, that is news to me.  I can see going into dentistry, banking, law, high tech, or even firefighting for the money, but teaching?  Yours is a statement that doesn’t ring true at the ground level.

        Frankly:  But as already pointed out there is absolutely no, none, nada, zero… evidence that spending more money improves student outcomes.

        If you firmly embrace standardized test scores as a worthwhile measure of something, which you do, Frankly, then Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut all spend more per student on education than California, and all have higher test scores on the NAEP.  And all are states with “strong” teachers unions.  As with anything, it depends on how the money is spent.

        Education is increasingly a numbers-driven field, focusing especially on standardized test scores.  That is the status quo.  It’s what you embrace.

        1. hpierce

          wdf… can you suggest a positive, rational measure of judging teacher effectiveness that may be used to ‘weed out’ those who are not effective, and evaluate which teachers should be higher compensated, and those less so?  You reject “standardized test scores”.  Can you articulate an alternative?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Since the average California teacher makes about $69,000 per year for about 9-10 months work, that equates out to about $90,000 per year in the business world.

          I don’t call that chicken feed, plus once they get tenure there is a huge upside. Plus every holiday under the sun.

          Then their are the generous pensions.

           

        3. Davis Progressive

          “Since the average California teacher makes about $69,000 per year for about 9-10 months work”

          really the average teacher makes that?  that’s the highest salary a teacher can make in davis and $69,000 isn’t even that much. i make twice that and i’m just a state employee, i could make a lot more in private practice.

        4. wdf1

          How to attract new teachers?
          The teaching crisis that unions and school districts won’t address

          Rocio Garcia, 24, is one such person. She struggled in a Southeast Los Angeles high school known for its dropout rate and overcrowding, but surrounded herself with educators who recognized her academic potential. Guided by caring mentors, Garcia graduated with high honors, was named a finalist for the prestigious Gates Millennium scholarship, and was accepted to a top liberal arts college in Connecticut.

          Shaped by these experiences, Garcia felt called to teaching. She made plans to return to Los Angeles after graduation and work in the city’s most difficult schools. But after several classroom internship experiences, she is troubled.

          “I feel a tug-of-war,” she said recently. “My background and education prepared me to be the kind of teacher who listens to students, hears their ideas and helps them become critical thinkers. But I keep meeting teachers who feel overwhelmed, have to follow a script and do so much testing. I don’t even know if they are really teaching.”

          Recent data suggest that detached teachers may be shortchanging our students. Lamenting “America’s systemic shortage of inspiring teachers,” a 2015 Gallup poll shows that only 31% of K-12 public school teachers are engaged in their work.

          Survey responses point toward a contradiction that may be keeping our best college students from considering the teaching profession. Historically, teachers are happier than other professionals. Teaching ranks high on measures that gauge an employee’s sense of purpose and social impact. Like Garcia, many respondents view teaching as their calling. But this powerful incentive to join a field dedicated to public service is increasingly offset by other concerns.

          Asked, for example, whether their “opinions seem to count” in the workplace, teachers ranked dead last among surveyed professions. Asked whether supervisors create a workplace that is “open and trusting,” teachers gave their field similarly low marks.

          High-stakes testing hasn’t helped matters. Polling shows that 3 out of 4 teachers agree that continuous test-based monitoring of students takes too much classroom time away from actual teaching. Nearly 9 in 10 respondents feel that linking teacher evaluations to students’ test scores is “unfair.”

          Career-minded college students are not oblivious to these developments. Since 2008, enrollment in teacher education programs in California is down 53%, and other bellwether states report a similar trend. Nationally, U.S. Department of Education statistics that include both traditional and alternative preparatory programs show that there were nearly 90,000 fewer teachers in training in 2012 than in 2008. Teach for America, which once celebrated 15 consecutive years of expansion, peaked in 2013. It is witnessing as much as a 25% drop in applications this year. Meanwhile, critics continually point toward a profession that draws disproportionately from the bottom third of all college graduates and fails to attract enough minorities.

        5. Frankly

          really the average teacher makes that?  that’s the highest salary a teacher can make in davis and $69,000 isn’t even that much. i make twice that and i’m just a state employee, i could make a lot more in private practice.

          We need to factor total compensation.

          And it is the common myth of the public sector employee that he/she can make more in private industry.  If you consider “compensation” to be all the things that an employee values, then if compensation was greater somewhere else, the employee would go there.

          Working fewer hours, more job security, better benefits, pensions, more paid time off, etc., etc., etc., Add these things to the pay and you get the real compensation picture.

          And teachers that work 10 months out of the year are not under-paid.

          Really good teachers are under-paid, and the mediocre and bad teachers are over-paid.

        6. Davis Progressive

          “We need to factor total compensation.”

          i thought previously we had decided that teachers get far less in benefits, than for instance, city employees.

        7. wdf1

          TBD:  Since the average California teacher makes about $69,000 per year for about 9-10 months work, that equates out to about $90,000 per year in the business world.

          Equating a teacher’s salary to a potential earning capacity of $90K is unrealistic.  It is very unlikely that one could find a temporary job for three months that teachers might likely qualify for that would bring an annual salary to $90,000.  Teaching summer school is done at a much lower rate, and might bring in about $2000 for the summer term.

        8. wdf1

          hpierce:  can you suggest a positive, rational measure of judging teacher effectiveness that may be used to ‘weed out’ those who are not effective, and evaluate which teachers should be higher compensated, and those less so?

          I take issue with your position.  It reflects a very popular political stance these days of “we’ve got to weed out the bad teachers” and that using standardized tests will address it.

          Standardized test scores to judge teachers ignores way too many influencing variables, it ignores even more fundamental outcomes in education, and it creates an unattractive environment for newer teachers.

          David Hafter recently contributed a piece on this site, Mentoring Young People.  You indicated a strong appreciation for the subject.  Schools, from my perspective, had a stronger ethic (not always ideal, but stronger) about youth mentorship prior to the current craze for standardized testing, which got into high gear with NCLB.  Hollywood movies are made about this aspect of teaching and development — Dead Poet Society, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Music of the Heart, to name a few off the top of my head.  In cases of the first two movies, the protagonist was not valued for his mentoring capabilities, and was in fact devalued in the end, in part, because the student outcomes were not more tangible — like a standardized test score is more tangible.

          A couple of classmates of mine went into teaching because of being inspired by Dead Poet Society, and unfortunately and ironically, they are encountering the versions of the ending of the movie — being unappreciated for the human touch they bring to teaching.  A teacher may be extremely valuable from this aspect in spite of not yielding desired standardized test scores.  I would not become a K-12 teacher, though I think I could be pretty good, especially on the mentoring side.

          “Teacher accountability” in political discussions always has a punitive edge to it — that schools are rife with bad teachers and we’re going to get rid of them.  And boy does it work.  We chase off all kinds of teachers in the process, and, I believe, make the ones who stay on less effective.  It might seem like there are good aspects to this, but it comes at a significant cost (see Revolving Door of Teachers Costs Billions Every Year).  It would be far more effective and economical to focus on how to help teachers rather than how to get rid of them.

          As an alternative I would emphasize teacher evaluation more strongly from a professional development perspective, as in, “these are ways we can help you improve.”  I would have teachers evaluating and mentoring other teachers, and minimize or even eliminate standardized testing.  This isn’t unlike what MrsW suggested elsewhere in comments.  Ironically, this would be modelling the very thing that is devalued in teaching today — mentorship.  I don’t think the positive outcomes of mentorship can be measured directly in a tangible or immediate fashion.

          I’m fine with raising the probationary period for new teachers to 3 or maybe even 4 years.  If a teacher can’t demonstrate the ability contribute within that span of time, it is time to show him/her the door.

        9. Frankly

          wdf1 – I am very glad to read this from you, because it lays out your mindset on the topic of teacher performance.

          Unfortunately, I think you have driven off the road with it.

          In my 35 years of management experience I have learned that one of the worst things you can do to an employee is to set unclear, nebulous and conflicting performance expectations.   You seem to be making teachers out to be “artistic developmental coaches” of children… and doggedly demanding we all accept it and buy-in to the value of it.

          You have this wrong my friend… terribly wrong.

          I do agree that there should be heightened evaluation of teachers for their first few years.  The reason for this and any employee is to ensure the employee is going to be a good fit for the career choice.  But then there is the ongoing need to ensure a good fit.  People change.  Their motivations and drivers change.  And if they change in ways that make them no longer a good fit, they can do significant harm to the enterprise in their orientation toward their job.   And considering that the enterprise is molding young minds, it is imperative that we catch the problem early and weed out those teachers that are not a good fit.

          Lastly, it is cruel and inhumane to allow an unhappy unfitting employee to be locked into a job he/she is not longer passionate about.

          You seem to be emphasizing the soft skills and then demanding that they cannot be measured.  I agree 100% that the soft skills are important, but I disagree 100% that they cannot be measured for performance.  You need to get out more and see what top-performing organizations do with respect to maximizing human capital.  Once you do, you will see that the education system is so far off the track that it is hopeless to just tweak the model to make it better.  It needs complete reformation…. starting with the elimination of the unions.

        10. wdf1

          Frankly: In my 35 years of management experience I have learned that one of the worst things you can do to an employee is to set unclear, nebulous and conflicting performance expectations.

          Have you ever coached a youth sports team or directed a music group of students?

          You can absolutely set clear expectations and cover the experiences that I suggest should be encompassed.

          You hire a qualified coach for a school team or a band director for the school band and set expectations that the band shall prepare for and perform at least three concerts per year, and the coach shall have her/his team ready for a season’s worth of games.

          Maybe the sports performances will be excellent, maybe they won’t, but the players learn to work together and learn how to function as an organization (but maybe that smacks too much of collectivism for your mind, unless they’re working for you?), and evaluate how they might do better the next go round.

          1. Don Shor

            Backing up to conversations I know we’ve had before, but which I can’t remember the answer: how are teachers presently evaluated, and by whom? The principal, correct? Don’t some reforms involve peer evaluation and review? Ultimately, I think the problem may be that principals are not supported by district admin’s when they provide negative evaluations, and that it is often too difficult to remove a teacher who receives poor evaluations. But I may be mis-remembering our previous discussions about the current management practices.

        11. wdf1

          Frankly:   If you want to use the coaching metaphor, coaches get fired for the team losing.  The team is losing… big time.

          So is it always about winning for you?

          I think a better mentoring experience is demonstrating as an adult how you handle failure.

          Isn’t failure supposed to be a general condition of business?

          In an interview committee, I would be a little more interested to hear an applicant talk about how they handle failure than to focus on mountains of successes.

          But maybe more generally, I’m talking about traits and experiences that are not measured by your standardized tests, like, how does one handle failure and losing.

        12. wdf1

          Don Shor:  Backing up to conversations I know we’ve had before, but which I can’t remember the answer: how are teachers presently evaluated, and by whom? The principal, correct? 

          As far as I know, at the elementary level teacher evaluations are conducted by the principal.  I have not heard of fellow teachers being involved in peer evaluations.

  4. MrsW

    What we need is a completely different model for the business of public school education.  

    Agree with this sentence.  But my second sentence would be something quoting Clark Kerr, if I could remember the quote.  Our  public school education model is a factory model. Change the education model to a model that is based on human development and I think we would raise better people/citizens.  I cannot imagine it would cost more and it might cost less.

    Back to how much does it cost to educate a child under this current model–To me, Palo Alto’s story tells us what might be a valid upper bound value, to educate a child in public school.  Both Davis and Palo Alto are similar sized communities, have similar parcel taxes and Palo Alto’s parents are being asked to contribute, as a baseline, more than 2 times what our educational foundation asks for ($800 versus $365 per pupil each year  http://davisschoolsfoundation.org/support/donate/how-to-give/).

    Another way to get at how much it costs to educate a child, is to look at private school tuition.  In our area, Sacramento Country Day is charging $17,000 (pre-school) to $25,0000 (high school).  Like many religiously affiliated schools, St James is supported by its Church, and their tuition is subsidized; parents pay an additional $4200 (member)-$5400 (non-member) beyond what the church contributes.  Jesuit High School is about $12,000 a year.  Sacramento Waldorf School is about $10,000-$15,000 a year.

    Eye-balling these numbers, I think an average of $12,000 is probably what’s needed. What does DJUSD budget for 1) an elementary student and 2) a high school student?

     

     

      1. MrsW

        Any ideas about how to measure school and/or teacher performance to do a cost/benefit analysis?  Meant as a friendly question.

        I have ideas about measuring teacher performance and they’re probably already done.  I don’t know how to rank teachers against each other exactly, but I think the assessment process could illuminate the bad apples.  I don’t have any ideas on how to compare districts to each other.  Standardized scores give no insight into whether or not the children feel valued, are healthy and are prepared to interact with the world in a healthy way.  Better to spend our energy on running our own race, providing a well-rounded comprehensive curriculum and continue to try to reach all of our kids.

        1. MrsW

          With respect to teacher’s performance, the teachers I know, know more about assessing competence and progress than anyone.  One tool they use for grading papers, could be converted to grading performance.  They use a rubric.  (Here is a link to a description of a rubric https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/rubrics.html) I would personalize the rubric to each teacher.   I would use the teacher’s own Teaching Statement (Here is a description of Teaching Statements http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/teaching-statements/) and build from there.  The reason I would start with the Teaching Statement is that I think I have observed that teachers perform the best, within the philosophy that they are passionate about. 
          In addition to evaluating consistency with the Teaching Statement (is s/he doing what s/he says s/he is doing?) the rubric would include standards of organization, classroom management, social goals/expectations and academic goals/expectations. As part of the assessment, I would articulate where the class started and where it ended, i.e. how many ELL students became proficient during the year, and I would be interested in what the teacher was trying to make all students, even the introverted, feel invested in the classroom’s success, socially and academically.   I might have checklist associated with the organization section.  For example, does the teacher provide a syllabus that is spell-checked and in legible font?   I would be looking for how the teacher leveraged the unique nature of the class, to build a learning community.  If I were an administrator, I would also be looking for ways to support the individual teacher and for school-wide trends, ie. we should all get to know a little bit more about the Hmong culture.
          Today’s graduates are already more comfortable being filmed and watched and I would push to normalize that practice.  I would have more than one person watch the teacher at work and I would train/teach/expect teachers and their assessors to use the experience to provide the teacher with constructive feedback.  I would assume the teacher wants to improve his/her craft and foster an environment where the teacher trusts the assessors and vice-versa.  The ones who can’t or won’t will be apparent to multiple observers.
           
          Being observed by peers and teacher collaboration, are two practices that get cut in budgets and that is a mistake.  It’s from other teachers that teachers learn new practices that they can adapt to their own classroom–including how to do with less. 

        2. hpierce

          MrsW… your 10:07 post actually goes a long way towards answering the question I posed to you and wdf1.  I particularly appreciate your non-dismissive tone (contrasted to wdf1’s) as to my question.  Thank you.  I hope the DJUSD procedures follow your outline.

        3. wdf1

          hpierce:  I’m sorry my tone came across as dismissive to you.  It wasn’t my intention.  I’ll try to be more careful next time. Though I agree with much of what MrsW offered.

          I would point out that MrsW’s comments appear to come from a perspective of college level instruction which doesn’t have the same constraints as K-12 education.

        4. Frankly

          MrsW, this is fabulous.  Thanks.

          Being observed by peers and teacher collaboration, are two practices that get cut in budgets and that is a mistake.  It’s from other teachers that teachers learn new practices that they can adapt to their own classroom–including how to do with less.

          I agree that observation and peer review are valuable.  Why not put a video camera in each classroom and do some of this from a central location to help mitigate costs?

          In my years of designing and implementing performance management practice, I break down the standard model to include the following top-level needs taxonomy:

          1. Customer (student, parent, community, ??) expectation and needs

          2. Organization/Management expectations and needs (s/b aligned)

          3. Team expectation and needs

          4. Employee development goals

          5. Peer expectations and needs

          There is tremendous value in the collaborative effort to first better define each of these, and then to determine the next level of detail in this performance management needs taxonomy.

          For example, as it relates to #1 and public school education, I would include the need for all students to be adequately prepared for their next step in development toward a fully-functioning economically and socially-sufficient adult.

          #4 is customized for the specific employee.

          Once the needs are agreed on, then the next step is to identify the performance behaviors and measures that would demonstrate their accomplishment or achievement.  That is another great collaborative exercise.

          This becomes the performance plan.

          Then the employee is evaluated on their performance and contribution relative to the plan.

          Most of the measures should be objective, but obviously there are going to be subjective assessments from peers and the manager. Deficiencies should be documented and should clearly appended to the plan as new needs.   Un-remedied, recurring deficiencies are cause for termination.

        5. wdf1

          Frankly:   Why not put a video camera in each classroom and do some of this from a central location to help mitigate costs?

          There are several issues to this.  But a first hurdle in education is FERPA.  If you’re going to record students by video, then you have to get parent consent.  For instance, these days if you have a kid in band, then you have to sign a waiver acknowledging that your kid might be recorded in a concert.

          It might be easier to have a live peer sit in the class, then that person can focus directly on the discussion/activities, or any other part of the classroom that might be important.

           

    1. wdf1

      MrsW:  What does DJUSD budget for 1) an elementary student and 2) a high school student?

      Because DJUSD is a unified school district, their budgeting documents don’t break down expenditures into either elementary or high school student.  The district spends about $9000/student annually.  More comments later…

      1. wdf1

        I meant to include that Country Day, Waldorf, St. James, Jesuit are probably not as equipped to serve special ed, ELL, and social services to lower income families, like free-/reduced lunch.

    2. hpierce

      Rest assured, MrsW that parochial school teachers are compensated (salary and benefits) MUCH less than DJUSD teachers.  I know.  Married to one.

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Washington DC spends $29,000 per student and their results aren’t good.

      I’m not sure that our $9,000 per pupil number includes special allotments of money that come down from the Feds for this or that.

      We spend over 50 percent of our state budget on education, and they want more.

      1. Davis Progressive

        40% of the state budget’s general fund goes to public schools.

        not sure how you got to $29,000 in dc – that doesn’t appear to be true: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/report-finds-wide-disparities-in-local-per-pupil-spending-dc-charters-spend-most/2014/10/14/f8b94b8c-53cd-11e4-ba4b-f6333e2c0453_story.html

      2. wdf1

        TBD:  I’m not sure that our $9,000 per pupil number includes special allotments of money that come down from the Feds for this or that.

        It includes federal money.  DJUSD gets close to $3 million from the federal government.  But that money is not spent evenly on every student in the district.

  5. zaqzaq

    LCFF is just a redistribution of wealth.  Now Davis residents have to tax themselves to make up the difference in order to provide the necessary resources for the schools.  I suspect that the majority of these additional funds going to these districts receiving these funds will only go into teacher raises in contracts.

      1. hpierce

        Since most of the costs are personnel related, your viewpoint will be welcomed in rural areas (low cost of living/housing) not so much in urban areas.

    1. wdf1

      Would you agree that it costs more to educate higher needs students (ELL, free/reduced lunch, parents with lower educational levels than you)?  If so, then how will funding their education be anything other than a “redistribution of wealth”?

      Think about this:  If you went to school in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, then the wealthy were taxed at a much higher rate than they are today.  If you grew up in at least a middle class household, then you were then a beneficiary of a “redistribution of wealth” for public services — education, roads, infrastructure, etc..  “With great power comes great responsibility.”  “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

      1. hpierce

        Given that “educational costs” are primarily salaries, are you advocating higher wages/benefits for teachers, more teachers (at same salary/benefits) [class size reductions], more money for administrators/support staff, more equipment/resources other than human?

        In short, if Davis citizens voted to double what they are paying today, via property taxes, school assessments, etc., how would YOU apportion those funds?

      2. Frankly

        In the 50s, 60s and 70s the wealthy were NOT taxed at a much higher rate if you calculate the total aggregate taxes that people pay.  In the 50s, 60s and 70s the top federal income tax brackets were higher, but state income tax rates were much lower, sales tax was much lower, payroll taxes were much lower, and there there were many fewer additional fees and taxes that we all had to pay.   It is a myth that is repeated often by those that have a vested interest in looting more from producers and working people that taxes were greater in the past.

        Property tax rates in CA are certainly less, but CA property tax revenue is still in the top 15% of all states on a per capital and per property basis.

        The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system – more than any other nation covered in the report.

        That sum was slightly higher than some developed countries and it far surpassed others. Switzerland’s total spending per student was $14,922 while Mexico averaged $2,993 in 2010. The average OECD nation spent $9,313 per young person.

        As a share of its economy, the United States spent more than the average country in the survey. In 2010, the United States spent 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on education, compared with the 6.3 percent average of other countries in that organization of the world’s most developed countries.

        It is not how much we are spending, it is how we are spending it, that should be the topic of debate.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “It is not how much we are spending, it is how we are spending it, that should be the topic of debate.”

          i think it’s both.  but certainly what we are spending it on is a factor.  one of the strengths of lcff is that it targets the spending and has an enforcement mechanism which didn’t exist previously.

        2. Barack Palin

          Welcome back Davis Progressive, I’ve missed you.  I haven’t seen you post since last Wednesday, were you on vacation?

          maybe it would be helpful for you to understand how lcff works and where the money is going

          I think we know where most of the money will be going.  To management, teachers and staff.

        3. Davis Progressive

          yeah – went to see my daughter.

          “I think we know where most of the money will be going.  To management, teachers and staff.”

          certainly most money is going to go to personnel – it can’t go to facilities and what else would you spend it on.

          here’s an explanation:

          “LCFF gives districts control over how to spend state funding while requiring them to “increase or improve services” for high-need students in proportion tothe increased funding these students generate.”

          “LCFF allows funds to be spent for any educational purpose but requires districts to develop Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that detail district goals and document how districts plan to measure their progress toward those goals. School districts must improve or increase services for high-need students in proportion to the increased funding they receive, but they may spend supplemental and concentration grants on district- and school-wide programs.”

           

        4. wdf1

          My opinion:  I think the LCFF and LCAP process is worth trying out in Davis.  It involves and requires community input and discussion.  This is a community that is willing to have vigorous discussions about education.  This is also a community that I think embraces the concept of having “local control” of our school system.  It also allows consideration of measures other than standardized test scores, and the scope of expected improvement is broader — we’re getting to issues of school climate for instance.  The downside for DJUSD is that there is not a lot of state funds to have “local control” over.

          I have doubts as to whether this will work as effectively in lower income communities, because I’m not sure about the likelihood of having as much adequate community input and discussion.  I also think it maybe likelier that district staff will not live in the same community where they work and teach.  This, I think, is a serious issue that affects education and communities — teachers willing and able to live in the same community where they work.

        5. wdf1

          Frankly: In the 50s, 60s and 70s the wealthy were NOT taxed at a much higher rate if you calculate the total aggregate taxes that people pay.

          Capital gain tax is at 15%, lowest rate since I don’t know when.  That’s how Warren Buffett said, “I’m taxed at a lower rate than my secretary.”  And estate taxes (also called “death taxes”) are also paid more by the wealthy and are now at a lower rate than they have been in the decades mentioned.

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