Following the direction of the California School Boards Association (CSBA), the Castaic Union School District is expected to adopt a resolution Thursday asking for the full and fair funding of California’s public schools.
In 2016, CSBA updated its “Getting Down to the Facts” data and determined that California public school’s require an additional $22 billion to $40 billion annually, adjusted for inflation, to provide all public school students with access to a high-quality education.
“CSBA is standing behind it at this point. In 2016 they put out a notification about ‘Getting Down to Facts’ and stated how far off our public education is off compared to other states,” Board President Laura Pearson said. “We’re truly one of the bottom in pupil funding… When CSBA got behind it we decided to get behind it too.”
The resolution from the district asks the state legislature to fund public schools at the national average or higher by 2020 and fund public schools at a level that is equal to or above the average of the top 10 states nationally by 2025.
According to the resolution, California ranks in the bottom on nearly every measure of public K-12 school funding and school staffing. The state ranks 45th nationally in the percentage of taxable income spent on education, 41st in per-pupil funding, 45th in pupil-teacher ratios and 48th in pupil–staff ratios.
The resolution states California funds schools at approximately $1,961 per student less than the national average and that California is behind the average of the top 10 states by almost $7,000 in per-pupil funding.
In addition, the resolution states that K-12 funding has not substantially increased, on an inflation-adjusted basis, for more than a decade. It also scolds the state for adding new requirements and raising state standards on school districts without providing them with additional resources and funding.
“They mandate things and require us to do things and the funding keeps dropping and it’s hard to keep up,” Pearson said. “It’s hard to mandate our teachers to keep working as hard as they are without raises.”
By providing California’s public schools with additional funding, the resolution asserts that the state would close opportunity and achievement gaps, meet the demands of a 21st century education, prepare students for participation in a democratic society and increase overall student success.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_