Majority of Californians Support Extra Funding For Low Income Schools

Funding For Low Income Schools Credit: newamericamedia.org[/caption]

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released a report simply titled Californians and Education. Feelings towards Governor Jerry Brown’s local control funding formula (LCFF) were found to be very positive.

Gov. Brown’s LCFF would provide school districts with high proportions of english-learners and low-income students to receive more state funding than schools with lower proportions. Every district will receive a base grant from the state. Districts also receive an extra 35 percent of the per-pupil funding amount for every disadvantaged student enrolled.

Seventy-one precent (71%) of respondents are in favor of the formula. The question is:

“As you may know, Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan for the next fiscal year includes new K–12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?”

Majority of Californians Support Extra Funding For Low Income Schools
Credit: Public Policy Institute of California

Support for the formula appears to be split along party lines while 62 percent of independents are in favor. Support tends to go down as household income increases.

Respondents were also asked about their opinion on the current quality of K-12 education; 49 percent see quality a big problem, 34 percent see it as somewhat of a problem, and 13 percent do not see it as a problem. When asked about the state budget situation affecting K-12 education,  57 saw it as a big problem, 28 percent as somewhat of a problem, and 10 percent do not see it as a problem at all.

In the January PPIC report, 75 percent were in support of LCFF. However, 68 percent of likely voters were in support at the time.

State money will be unrestricted by categorical funds with the local control funding formula. Respondents were asked about which entity should make spending decisions; 43 percent are in favor of school districts, 36 percent said individual schools should, and 16 percent favor the state government.

Gov. Brown is expected to released a revised 2013-2014 budget next month. The California Legislature will be voting and implementing a final budget in the Summer.

Download the entire PPIC report here.