Los Angeles Unified School District’s Reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposed 2018-19 Budget

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 10, 2018) - Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian and Board of Education members reacted today to the release of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget for the next fiscal year.

“We applaud the governor’s proposed budget, which provides for full implementation of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for schools, and offers broad support to schools to invest in our students and classrooms,” Ms. Ekchian said. “However, we remain mindful that the state’s overall funding of education continues to be significantly inadequate, ranking near the bottom nationally in nearly every measure of school funding and staffing, including per-pupil funding. Additionally, special education funding is still not sufficient to address the needs of our students, especially those with moderate and severe disabilities.”

She added, “With LCFF implementation complete, we now have an opportunity to engage in a state-level discussion to foster the delivery of a 21st century education that prepares our students for the challenges of a globally competitive and technologically diverse society.”

Board members also weighed in on the plan, which will be revised in May, based on updated information about state revenues.

“Serving students adequately and equitably in L.A. Unified and districts across our great state requires more funding,” said School Board President Mónica García. “California is leading the resistance against the presidential administration’s attacks on our children, our families and our communities. Our investment in education deserves the same urgency.”

School Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said, “While I am thrilled that Gov. Brown will be speeding up the funding for California’s educational equity plan, our state still funds public education at a rate of half of New York, and that needs to change with the same urgency. California is the sixth-largest economy in the world, and our kids deserve at least double the current per-pupil funding from a state that leads the country in so many other ways.”

Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said, “We appreciate the full implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula put forth by the governor, yet remain vigilant in our quest to pursue avenues for increased per-pupil spending to meet the complex needs of California’s students.”

Board Member Scott Schmerelson said, “I applaud this very positive step forward, but we still need the governor and Legislature to understand the critical importance of more adequate funding needed to prepare our children to fully participate in a vibrant, 21st century economy in California. We must also continue to advocate for increased and more equitable funding for special education services for our most vulnerable students.”

Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez said, “Gov. Brown’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction. Our schools deserve the kind of support his budget proposes, but the larger problem of overall underfunding persists. I enthusiastically join Interim Superintendent Ekchian’s call for a much more robust school funding. It is essential to our students’ well-being and the health of California.”

Board Member Kelly Gonez said, “The full funding of the Local Control Funding Formula is a positive step toward meeting the needs of all our students. Yet, even with this step, California remains far behind most other states in education spending. Our children are our future, and it’s time for California to fully invest in education from cradle to career.”

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766