Full and Fair Funding

Fight For Our Future

Fight for our Future!

Join the Association of California School Administrators and the California School Boards Association in the fight to provide every California student with a high-quality education and the resources needed for success in college, career, and civic life.

California is the home of innovation and opportunity — we’ve never been content with average. To meet the needs of 6.2 million public school students and prepare them for an increasingly competitive and complex world, we simply must do more.

In order to build tomorrow’s innovators, and leaders of industry, we must create the conditions for student success – and that starts with funding. We must offer our schools and teachers the resources necessary to prepare California’s students to be the leaders of the future, which starts in our public schools. California’s inadequate school funding threatens our prosperity and undermines our communities in an increasingly competitive, global and technologically driven economy.

Together we are calling on the Legislature to raise school funding to the national average by 2020 and to the average of the top 10 states by 2025.


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About

About

California is the 5th largest economy in the world. It produces the highest GDP of any state. It is the heart of innovation, opportunity and the digital economy. Yet when it comes to education, California lags woefully behind. When adjusted for cost of living, California ranks only 41st in per-pupil spending and 45th in student-teacher ratios. We are 48th in staff per student ratios. ACSA and CSBA have partnered to declare in 2020 that this level of investment is simply not good enough for our students or our state. Together, we will be pursuing a ballot measure focused on Full and Fair funding that will provide the resources needed for high-quality, rigorous education for all students.

CSBA, in partnership with ACSA, has drafted a bold resolution calling on the State Legislature to fund California schools at the national average by the year 2020, and to the average of the top ten funded states by 2025. California is home to a student population with high needs, including more low-income students than the national average, the most English Learners of any state in the country and persistent opportunity and achievement gaps. But we can do better.

The Proposition 98 funding guarantee has not kept pace with growing costs, especially as employer pension contributions costs are expected to double over the next five years and the threat of another recession looms large. California is, overall, a wealthy state with high income areas and a large and robust economy. Sadly, it has chosen to focus its spending more on other areas of government, rather than on schools. Public school funding gaps began and have persisted since the 1970’s when Serrano vs. Priest led to the state takeover of school funding. The problems generated by lower funding are further compounded by the high cost of living in the state. 58% of California’s students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, more than the national average of 52%.

Across the state, countless county and district offices have learned to accomplish a great deal with fewer resources than ever before. The state, can, and should, invest as well by providing the resources needed for universal, high-quality education for ALL students and by providing a foundation for innovation and competitive advantage for California’s student population. Currently, California ranks near Mississippi in per pupil spending, offering nearly $2000.00 less per pupil than the average state in the nation.

The state has barely restored school funding levels to pre-recession levels, which does not begin to cover the increases seen since 2008 in rising health care and pension costs. If the state were to increase per pupil spending to just the national average, an additional $49, 025 dollars would become available per classroom of 25 students. This investment is not just a number. It represents counselors, wellness centers, social workers, parent engagement, English Learner supports, intervention programs, class size reduction, Career Technical Education opportunities and expanded offerings in the arts.

For example, with an additional $1,961 per student (roughly the increase needed to reach the national funding average), a school with 500 students would achieve nearly 1 million dollars in additional revenue. According to CSBA (http://www.fullandfairfunding.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SchoolFunding-PagesVersion-WEB-1.pdf) and the Learning Policy Institute, that money could be used to:

  • Improve College and Career Counseling by providing a college and career counselor for every 250 students (recommended by the American School Counselor Association). This will ensure that all students are on track to graduate, meet A-G requirements, and have a robust plan for what to do post high school graduation. Cost: $159,948 for two counselors.
  • Engage Parents by having teachers conduct home visits and having a parent coordinator organize educational classes for parents to learn about how they can best support their children’s education. Cost: $87,474 to provide a stipend for teachers to conduct at least a one-hour home visit per student (assuming a cost of $15 per hour) and a parent coordinator.
  • Ensure Advanced Placement Success by placing all students in an Advanced Placement course, paying for test fees, and incorporating student supports, including tutoring, to master and practice the content. Supports can also incorporate AP preparation during summer school (see section on expanding summer learning). Cost: $89,500 to provide each student with one AP test fee ($94) and an average of one hour of tutoring from a certificated teacher ($85).
  • Provide a Well-Rounded Education by supporting time for arts, physical activity, civic engagement and other topics that provide students with a well-rounded education. Funding will support part-time teachers in these diverse subject areas. Cost: $159,948 for four half-time teachers3 in the areas of art, music, physical education, and civics.

In order to build tomorrow’s innovators, and leaders of industry, we must create the conditions for student success – and that starts with funding. We must offer our schools and teachers the resources necessary to prepare California’s students to be the leaders of the future, which starts in our public schools. California’s inadequate school funding threatens our prosperity and undermines our communities in an increasingly competitive, global and technologically driven economy.

Resources

Resources

Full and Fair Funding