By Caleb Gasteiger |Staff Writer|
A new plan to redistribute billions of dollars in California school funds to poorer schools is at the top of Gov. Jerry Brown’s list of priorities despite scrutiny from many California Democrats.
Brown’s goal is to get his new funding plan attached to the June budget to which Democratic lawmakers are urging him to pump the brakes on the initiative’s inaction.
“I’m always concerned rushing something that is so important and so complex, under a deadline,” Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla said of Brown’s urgency to incorporate the plan on the June budget.
Brown said, in a press conference on April 1, to anyone who plans on opposing his new plan that they should expect “the battle of their lives.”
The plan intends to take money that would normally be distributed among schools equally and focuses it towards schools that are in poorer areas, with fewer English speaking students.
Some people are thinking that the new plan may create winner schools and loser schools. The winner schools are the schools that will have more money budgeted to them while the losers will lose funding.
According to the new plan, some of the winner schools are located in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Other areas include: Los Angeles, Compton, Garden Grove, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Bakersfield and Stockton.
Some of the losers are in Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, Chino, Chula Vista, Glendale, Irvine, Montebello, Mt. Diablo, Placentia-Yorba Linda, Pomona, Poway, Saddleback, San Jose, San Ramon Valley, Temecula and Torrance.
One district that is considered a loser is Jerry Brown’s hometown of Oakland where he started his political career as mayor. Oakland schools will see a loss of $228 dollars per pupil if the new plan is fully implemented.
“I actually like it,” student Gaby Tostado said about Brown’s plan. “I mean, it’s a good thing cause there are schools that need help. For example, when I was in LA, the school I attended wasn’t that great and they needed more money for better teachers and materials.”
Another issue is that this could potentially hurt schools who are attempting to come back from the recession.
“A lot of districts will be hard-pressed to get back to 2007-08 spending levels and are concerned we could go into another recession before they do,” said Mike Ricketts, education numbers manager for a consulting firm with School Services of California. “Everybody has gotten hurt and we need to do something that starts to fix things for everyone,” he added.
Brown told reporters last week that, “this is a matter of equity and civil rights.”
Even though the bill may help many students, California would spend less money per-student in high ranking schools than it ever has.
The loser schools will be dropped to 50th in the nation while the winners will climb to the 46th spot according to The LA Times.
“Whatever we have to bring to bear in this battle, we’re bringing it […] I am going to fight as hard as I can,” Brown said passionately to a group of reporters according to David Siders of The Sacramento Bee.