Press Release: Santa Ana Residents to Call for Greater Focus on Student Health; Increased Parent Involvement as “School Success Express” Bus Tour Rolls to Century High School

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Contact: Jeff Okey, Communications Manager t. (213) 928-8622 e. jokey@calendow.org

New Fair School Funding Law Projected to Bring More Than $279 Million Funding Increase to Santa Ana Unified by 2021

Parents and Students to Meet with State and Local Education Leaders To Shape Law’s Impact on Santa Ana Schools

Santa Ana, CA – As part of The California Endowment’s 12-city School Success Express bus tour raising awareness about California’s historic new Fair School Funding law, parents and students in Santa Ana will hold a community forum on Tuesday to discuss the new law that will bring California schools more money, more local control and new priorities.

The Fair School Funding law, also known as the Local Control Funding Formula, will increase funding over the next eight years to school districts throughout California, directing the greatest funding increases to districts serving large numbers of low-income students, English learners and foster youth. For example, Santa Ana Unified is projected to receive a 78.9% per-student funding increase as a result of the new law. If student enrollment holds steady, that would result in a district budget increase of more than $279 million per year once the Fair School Funding law takes full effect in the 2020-2021 school year.

“Fair School Funding will make a big difference in Santa Ana,” said Virginia Mosqueda, Building Healthy Communities Santa Ana program manager. “Not only will it bring much needed funds to local school districts, but Fair School Funding will also increase parent involvement in each school district’s decision-making process.”

The forum will be held at Century High School, 1401 S. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana and the public is encouraged to attend. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The event will start with a short video explaining the new law, after which students, parents and other community members will provide input to state and local education decision-makers.

“Local Control is a great opportunity for us parents to take a stronger leadership role in our children’s education,” said Guadalupe Celedón, a Santa Ana Unified School District parent. “We live with the ‘low-income students, the English Learners, and foster children’ — they are our children, and we, as parents, understand their needs.”

The Fair School Funding law was approved in July and makes these important changes in how schools are funded and how they plan for the future:

  • More Money for Students with the Greatest Needs – Fair School Funding increases dollars to support the needs of students who are low-income, learning to speak English or living in foster homes. Research shows low-income students are five times more likely to drop out than their higher-income peers.

  • A Broader Definition of School Success – With Fair School Funding, school districts won’t be judged by test scores alone. To help drive academic success, the law requires schools to develop plans to improve student engagement, increase parent involvement and create more positive learning environments on campus. Fair School Funding requires school district budgets to be aligned with these plans starting in July 2014.

  • More Local Control – Fair School Funding gives school leaders and parents more control over spending. Under the new law, they will work together to create achievement plans and budgets to meet the unique needs of students in their communities.

The law helps reverse years of painful cuts in education spending. Local students are expected to be major beneficiaries of the Fair School Funding law, which is based on a complicated formula that includes the number of students enrolled, the number of high-needs students, requirements to reduce class sizes in certain grades and other factors.

The California Department of Finance has issued projections for how funding will increase, and the nonprofit group Education Trust-West used that data to estimate the funding impact for local districts:

School District

Average Daily Attendance (Enrollment)

Low Income, English Learner and Foster Youth Enrollment % (2012-13)

Per-Pupil Funding in 2013-14 School Year

Projected Per-Pupil Funding in 2020-21 School Year

Projected $ Increase in Per-Pupil Funding from 2012-13 to 2020-21

Projected % Increase in Per-Pupil Funding from 2012-13 to 2020-21

Projected $ Increase in Total Funding from 2012-13 to 2020-21

Santa Ana Unified

52,064

92%

$6,800

$12,167

$5,367

78.9%

$279,427,488

Anaheim City

18,815

92%

$6,589

$11,754

$5,165

75.7%

$97,179,475

The Fair School Funding law was approved quickly, and many details are yet to be defined by the California Board of Education. The Board will be making important decisions in early 2014 to give additional guidance to school districts for how money can be spent and how districts will be held accountable under the new law.

“Receiving information from the community is incredibly important to the work of the State Board of Education,” said Michael Kirst, President of the California State Board of Education. “We look forward to hearing from parents, students, administrators and caregivers as we develop regulations to implement the Local Control Funding Formula – an historic shift in how we fund California’s schools.”

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson added, “The core of the new Local Control Funding Formula is just that: local control. Parental and community involvement remains key to student success, perhaps now more than ever. We all need to look closely, together, at the outcomes we want for our students and make sure that all students – no matter where they come from, where they live, or what challenges or opportunities they have – receive a world-class education and graduate ready to contribute.”

The Santa Ana forum is one of 12 School Success Express events planned this fall, with support from The California Endowment. Through its Building Healthy Communities Initiative, The Endowment works with parents, students and community leaders to improve health in underserved neighborhoods across the state. Student health and wellness is an important part of the foundation’s strategy.

“Children can’t learn when they come to school hungry, struggling to breathe because of asthma, or traumatized by violence in their homes or communities,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment. “We want to give parents and students the opportunity to speak with education policymakers directly about these and other issues that affect student wellness and their ability to stay on track for college and future careers.”

The School Success Express is supported by a wide range of local and statewide community organizations. Local organizations include The Center OC; CLUE Orange County; Kidworks; Latino Health Access; Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO); Orange County Labor Federation; Santa Ana Boys and Men of Color; Santa Ana College; and Santa Ana Unified School District. Other supporting organizations include ACLU of California; Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles; Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN); Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition; California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc; California State PTA; Californians for Justice; Children Now; Education Trust-West; Families in Schools; Fight Crime Invest in Kids California; Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC); Los Angeles Urban League; MALDEF; PICO California; Public Advocate; and Public Counsel among others.

  • For more information on the Local Control Funding Formula, California’s new Fair School Funding law, read the following brief prepared by the California Department of Education (CDE): http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcffoverview.asp.

  • Learn more about Central Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities athttp://www.bhcconnect.org/health-happens-here/central-santa-ana.

FULL SCHEDULE OF SCHOOL SUCCESS EXPRESS COMMUNITY FORUMS
Date                 Community
Sept. 30            South Kern
Oct. 7               Eastern Coachella Valley
Oct. 9               South Sacramento
Oct. 22             Richmond
Oct. 24             Southwest Merced/East Merced County
Oct. 28             Los Angeles
Oct. 29             Central Santa Ana *Tonight*
Oct. 30             Oakland
Nov. 4               East Salinas (Alisal)
Nov. 7               Fresno
Nov. 9               City Heights (San Diego)
Nov. 13             Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands

                                                         

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Resilience Orange County
info@resilienceoc.org

Resilience Orange County is an organization that was created in 2016 out of the merging of two established organizations RAIZ (Resistencia Autonomia Igualdad y lideraZgo) and Santa Ana Boys and Men of Color.