New money for schools promised by Gov. Jerry Brown is starting to reach schools - and administrators are figuring out how to use their leeway to spend it.
The new Local Control Funding Formula, as the law is called, does away with rules for three dozen state funding sources. It also increases funding for schools with significant numbers of low income and English Learner students. Districts can use the money to hire more teachers, reinstate summer schools, or improve classroom technology.
"This is one of the biggest changes in education finance probably in the last 30 years," said Dennis Meyers, with the California School Board Association, who's been giving workshops to school district administrators across the state.
The law not only increases districts' bottom lines for the first time in seven years - it also requires districts bring parents and others into the planning process earlier than most do.
"Local Control Funding Formula requires school boards to engage parent communities and other parts of the education community up front when budgets are being put together," Meyers said.