Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Long Beach Unified accused of underfunding ‘high-needs’ students | EdSource

Long Beach Unified accused of underfunding ‘high-needs’ students | EdSource:

Long Beach Unified accused of underfunding 'high-needs' students

Long Beach Unified failed to account for or misspent $41 million that should have been used to expand and improve services for students receiving extra money under the state’s funding formula, according to a complaint filed Tuesday by the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates. The group filed a separate complaint against the Los Angeles County Office of Education for approving the district’s spending plan last fall.
The district is demanding that Long Beach, the state’s third-largest district, amend its Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as the document is called, to justify how it used the money or to reallocate it to comply with the spending law.
In return for receiving additional “supplemental” and “concentration” dollars for “high-needs” students – low-income children, foster and homeless youth, and English learners – the Local Control Funding Formula requires districts to spend the money on these students.
Public Advocates said it filed the complaint on behalf of two Long Beach parents, a community group and the state chapter of the Children’s Defense Fund after the district failed to respond to inquiries about the spending. “Over the past two years, the district has received multiple letters warning that it is not meeting its obligations to equitably serve high-needs students. Unfortunately, the district has not meaningfully responded,” Angelica Jongco, Public Advocates senior staff attorney, said in a statement.
Long Beach Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser said Tuesday that the district’s LCAP fully complied with and met the spirit of the Local Control Funding Formula. If the district has to refine the LCAP’s language, it will do so, he said in an interview.
Public Advocates has filed similar complaints over the past several years against other districts alleging that they are violating the requirement for spending for Long Beach Unified accused of underfunding ‘high-needs’ students | EdSource: