State officials find LA Unified shortchanged students
In a ruling with statewide implications and financial repercussions for the state’s largest school district, the California Department of Education has determined that Los Angeles Unified has shortchanged low-income students, English learners and foster children by hundreds of millions of dollars they should have received through the state’s new funding system.
The department stated in a May 27 report that L.A. Unified improperly attributed $450 million in benefits for special education students as also contributing to meeting the requirements of the Local Control Funding Formula, which is weighted to provide additional services for children in greatest need. The department found that by counting the same expenditure twice, the district spent less than required on high-needs students. As a remedy, the state has ordered the district to revise its 2016-17 spending plan, known as the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, to add additional services and programs for the district’s high-needs students.
“We applaud the department for issuing its straightforward legal ruling and ordering L.A. Unified to comply with the law under the Local Control Funding Formula,” John Affeldt, managing partner of the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates, said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the district halt this illegal practice and invest more fully in its low-income students, English learners and foster youth.”
In a statement late this afternoon, L.A. Unified said it intends to challenge the decision, “which we believe is an incorrect interpretation of the Local Control Funding Formula. If the decision is allowed to stand, it would seriously undermine the district’s ability to continue providing our deserving students with the effective instruction and support services they need to succeed.“State officials find LA Unified shortchanged students | EdSource: