There’s a message about the closure of a class at Franklin Elementary that has been making its way around Facebook. I hadn’t mentioned it in detail yet, but Ruby Bridges is facing a similar enrollment scenario as it did for the 2016-17 school year, the only difference is that we’re finding out about it prior to the school year starting. The District has already warned parents and the community about the reduction in funding from the State and the choices that will need to be made.
In advance of the School Board meeting tomorrow night, I thought I’d post the funding breakdowns by elementary school site. Naturally the only one that is going to have a bit of an asterisk next to it is Bay Farm as it serves K-8 so not a direct comparison. These numbers come directly from the District from the 2016-17 school year.
One of the things that always bothered me about the way that elementary school funding has been presented to the public has been the way that all the funding buckets are rolled into one final total then divided by the number of students to present a cost per pupil funding number. What this total number fails to reflect is that a portion of those funding buckets are restricted, meaning the District would be unable to spread it around to all school sites, such as Title I money. Just to recap, there is a new funding mechanism called Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which can be thought of as an unrestricted block of money to distributed however the District sees fit. As part of the LCFF there is an additional pot of money: the LCFF supplemental grant. According to Fair Share 4 Kids on how LCFF supplement grant money should be used:
The funds generated through supplementary and concentration grants must be spent to “increase or improve services” for English learners, low-income students, and students in foster care.
Districts should spend no less on disadvantaged students than they did in previous years, and they should add to this spending with new LCFF funds as they become available.
But let’s put that to the side for now and just break down what the numbers are for each of the funding pots per student sorted in order of least amount per student to most:
|Unrestricted General Fund||Unrestricted GF/student|
The amount of Parcel Tax per student sorted by least to most:
|Parcel Tax||Parcel Tax/student|
And both of those numbers for a combined unrestricted total per student from least to most:
So all the schools get in the same general range, the median is about $5245.49 and the average is slightly less at $5244.46.
Here’s where it gets a bit more tricky, so remember what I said about LCFF supplemental above, here are the numbers sorted by allocation per student from least to most. The next column is allocation per unduplicated student:
|LCFF Supplemental||LCFF Supplemental/
What makes these numbers unusual is that the LCFF supplemental is being allocated in a seemingly subjective manner and not necessarily representative of the need at the school site based on the unduplicated student count. Here is a chart of school sites sorted by the percentage of unduplicated students at the site in order of lowest to greatest. The next two numbers are the percentage of unduplicated students of all elementary level district students and the percentage of LCFF supplemental fund received by site:
|% of unduplicated by site||% of unduplicated by district||% of LCFF funds|
These are the numbers of restricted General Fund monies per student from least to most. Ruby Bridges gets the lion share because of the percentage of Title I eligible kids:
|Restricted General Fund||Restricted GF/student||Restricted GF/unduplicated student|
And here’s the number that you typically see from the district, all the funds rolled up into one divided by number of students. However, as I mentioned above the restricted general fund dollars can only allocated in a specific manner, they are not subjectively allocated like the other dollars, so I spun off another column which totals all the subjectively allocated funds divided by number of students in a per student count:
|Total all funds||Total all funds/student||Total w/o restricted GF||Total w/o restricted GF/student|
When equity is only provided to schools in need with funds that are legally required to serve the students at the school that’s not truly valuing equity, that’s just ensuring compliance.
If you’re a more visual person, I have visualized some of the data here.