State Says Los Angeles Schools Must Spend More on Poor Students and English Learners

Telecommunications manufacturer David Welch and his organization, Students Matter, the group that brought the original anti-teacher-tenure lawsuit Vergara v. California, and Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor whose Partnership for Educational Justice has been bringing copycat anti-tenure lawsuits across the country, allege that schools are failing to serve their poorest students because tenure is protecting tired, old, lazy teachers and assigning such teachers to the schools that serve children in poor neighborhoods. Never mind that what seems to be happening instead is that very poor children are being assigned the least experienced teachers. And never mind that a shortage of dollars in big city school districts really does seem to be a primary problem.

A year-old report from Bruce Fuller and other researchers at the University of California at Berkeley explains that in Los Angeles, “Sacramento cut spending on K-12 education by one-fifth statewide in the years following 2008—in the wake of the Great Recession. The impact on LAUSD (the Los Angeles Unified School District)… was immense, losing approximately $2.7 billion between 2009 and 2013. But the state has instituted a new Local Control Funding Formula for the purpose of supporting the education of poor children and children learning English. And it turns out there are serious questions about how the new money is being spent by the Los Angeles Unified School District, which needs to address years’ of unmet needs.

The California Department of Education just sided with Public Advocates, a California public interest law firm, which had filed a complaint against LAUSD on behalf of the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles, a complaint charging that the school district is not investing, as required by the new state funding formula, enough new dollars in the education of very poor children and English learners. The complaint says the district has claimed to be increasing spending on vulnerable students while it has instead been counting special education expenditures as though they were providing additional funding for poor students.

Here is the California Department of Education’s recent finding, according to Ed Source:

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Telecommunications manufacturer David Welch and his organization, Students Matter, the group that brought the original anti-teacher-tenure lawsuit Vergara v. California, and Campbell Brown, the former CNN anchor whose Partnership for Educational Justice has been bringing copycat anti-tenure lawsuits across the country, allege that schools are failing to serve their poorest students because tenure is protecting tired, old, lazy teachers and assigning such teachers to the schools that serve children in poor neighborhoods.  Never mind that what seems to be happening instead is that very poor children are being assigned the least experienced teachers.  And never mind that a shortage of dollars in big city school districts really does seem to be a primary problem.

A year-old report from Bruce Fuller and other researchers at the University of California at Berkeley explains that in Los Angeles,  “Sacramento cut spending on K-12 education by one-fifth statewide in the years following…

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