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California Governor wants to shift funding to schools with poorer students

California Governor Jerry Brown Unveils State Pension Reform Program

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California Governor Jerry Brown wants to bolster funding for public schools that serve the poor.

Governor Jerry Brown’s New Year’s resolution: a major school funding overhaul.

Observers said Brown will unveil details next week of a plan to increase state funding for public schools with high proportions of low-income students.

It’ll be a version of a student weighted funding formula he unveiled last year -- then withdrew several months later after opposition from a coalition that included the California Teachers Association and the California School Boards Association. They were concerned that the funding overhaul might harm their push to pass Propostion 30.

State Board of Education President Mike Kirst, who supported last year’s plan, predicts it'll get broad support this time. For one, the Governor adopted changes that surfaced at stakeholder meetings several months ago, he said. And the state analysts predict increased funding for all schools in the next few years.
 
“That makes it more favorable that you can phase it in on an increased rising tide of expenditures,” Kirst said.

Brown plans to do away with rules governing so-called categoricals -- funding streams for programs like busing and class size reduction. Removing the rules, Brown told the L. A. Times, would give school districts more control over how to use the money. His goal, he said, is to “balance” opportunities.

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