During their Wednesday night meeting, the governing board members of the William S. Hart Union High School District approved the 2019-20 allocation of Title I allocations by school site.
The funds can only be spent on what the federal government deems to be low socio-economic students and families, according to Jan Daisher, director of student support services for the district.
A total of eight schools within the district qualify as Title I schools, meaning that 40% or more of their population are considered to be low socio-economic. Because of the high number of that population, the district is allowed to spend the money on support programs that benefit the entire school community.
“We run schoolwide programs,” said Daisher. “We have higher numbers of (lower socio-economic students) so we can actually run school schoolwide programs so the entire school actually benefits.”
The total unallocated amount for school allocation, after the mandated funds were set aside, was $1,805,892, according to the funding formula approved by the district. For seven of the eight schools in the district that have at least 40% of its students in the lower socioeconomic category, the per-pupil funding amount is $361. Sequoia School received $534 per pupil due to its status as a school designated to assist special needs students.
In terms of the larger schools, Golden Valley, for example, with the projected enrollment for the year of 2,131 students, and a projected low-income student family population of 1,101. At a projected 52% low-income ratio at $361 per pupil, the total allocation would be approximately $400,000 for the school, according to Daisher. Sequoia, with the lowest amount of money but highest per pupil ratio, will receive approximately $22,000.
That money is then given to the school sites based on the funding formula, and the school site councils, not the district, decides how the money is used to benefit of students and their families.
“Parents teachers and administrators on that school site council are the only ones who can decide how to spend that money,” said Daisher. “Each of these eight schools have a very detailed plan and those plans actually went to the board June 12 (of this year).”
Daisher said this money is important because it puts students with more barriers in their life on the same playing field as students who do not meet the same socio-economic challenges on a daily basis.
“If you’re a school with very low numbers of low socio-economic students, you’re oftentimes more supported by community sponsorships, parents and businesses in ways other schools are not,” Daisher said. “So it’s a way of balancing and equalizing what all our students have access to so we don’t have the rich schools as the ‘haves’ and the poor schools as the ‘have-nots.’”