(From Press Release – Assemblymember Weber) — Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D- San Diego) and Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) have introduced a pair of bills, AB 1834 and AB 1834, to ensure greater accountability for state funding intended aimed at low-income students, English learners and foster youth.
A recent report by the State Auditor found that the state has been woefully inadequate at ensuring that funding is actually reaching the students who need it.
“The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was passed with a promise that California’s most vulnerable students would receive more resources to combat the challenges of poverty, language barriers and trauma” Weber said. “These bills are intended to fulfill the promise of LCFF to provide educational equity for all students.”
“The audit findings show that we need transparency now,” said Quirk-Silva. “I supported LCFF in 2013 because we were promised high-need students would receive more, not just more of the same. It is time to strengthen the law and deliver on the promise of equity.”
AB 1834 and AB 1835, which are co-sponsored by Children Now, Teach Plus California and The Education Trust–West, would implement key recommendations the Auditor made for the Legislature, including:
- Ensuring that dollars are spent on the students they were intended for by requiring districts to identify unspent funds by annually reconciling what they receive with what they spent. In addition, that funding would retain the same requirements to increase and improve services for designated students regardless of the year they are spent.
- Requiring a tracking mechanism for districts to report the types of services they use their supplemental and concentration funds on and to report that information to the state.
“We have to ensure that the dollars directed to increase supports for children and youth are in fact used for their benefit,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, “which was, and still is, the intent LCFF.”
“These bills will provide communities with budget information that’s been sorely needed to realize the promise of LCFF to improve outcomes for students with the greatest need,” said Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of the Education Trust-West “This added transparency will finally tell us whether targeted money is reaching the students for whom it’s intended.”
“With the passage of LCFF, our state leaders set us on a road to educational equity but we have a long way to go,” said Sarah Lillis, executive director of Teach Plus California, “This legislation provides necessary clean up to get us closer to fulfilling its promise of equitable opportunity.”