The Manteca Unified School District spends almost $10,000 per year, per student above what they are reimbursed by the State of California.
And the Board of Trustees is hoping that a coordinated effort on behalf of the district and the community will send a clear message to Sacramento that they want that to change.
On Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to adopt a proclamation that calls for action on Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget that meets his promised investment into the Local Control Funding Formula two years ahead of schedule, and requests a renewed focus on fair funding of California public schools.
The effort, which is being backed by the California School Board Association, will be the focus of a pair of meetings that Board President Stephen Schluer has scheduled next month with Assemblyman Heath Flora and State Senator Cathleen Galgiani – a forum he hopes will lead to additional backing inside of the State Capital that will only seek to further benefit the more than 23,000 students that call the district home.
“When is enough going to be enough?” Schluer asked when making his comments about the resolution that he submitted for board approval. “When it trickles out of the school board, and people from the community finally stand up, maybe then our voices will be heard.”
The matter is so important to the district that an entire webpage has been added to the district’s website that allows parents to learn more about the effort to push for fulfillment of the LCFF and the positive step that such an undertaking would signal for public education in California. Those that want to get involved have easy access to a form letter that they can submit to their elected officials on the site, and a handful of documents including the proposed budget, information from the California School Funding Coalition and the California School Board Association are available on the page, as are support letters signed by the board and by Superintendent Jason Messer.
Once the LCFF funding level is fully reached, the board and the district are asking the state to raise the base grant funding level and to create an “aspirational funding level” that would match the funding levels enjoyed by the top 10 states in the country – something that Proposition 98, which was approved by voters in 1988 and put the aspirational funding level concept into the State Constitution as a goal to work towards.
A concise statement about the goals of the district greets those who visit the dedicated “Call to Action” page, and details what the district feels could be a step towards repairing the damage that came from an underfunded educational system that has placed California 46th on the list of school funding inside of the United States.
“In Manteca Unified School District, the Board of Trustees has understood the rising pension costs and the impact that will have on the District. They continue to demonstrate a commitment to being proactive and starting early to put us in a good position financially long-term,” the statement reads. “As part of the California School Funding Coalition, along with other educational stakeholders, we remain fervent in working with the state to increase the Base Grant Target to reflect the reality of education expenses.”
For additional information, visit www.mantecausd.net/actnow.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.