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Is Martinez Unified Shortchanged in Gov. Brown's New School Funding Proposal?

State officials released district-level details about a plan to give more money to poorer schools.

Martinez school officials got a picture this week of what Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed new K-12 funding plan will mean for them. In January, Brown said that he wanted the state to give more money to schools with higher numbers of poor students and students learning English.

On Wednesday, the California Department of Finance released funding projections based on Brown’s idea. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown’s proposal may forge unusual political alliances as lawmakers in rural districts make common cause with colleagues from urban districts, and Democratic and Republican legislators from the suburbs marshal a united front in opposition to the unequal distribution of money.

Like everything else related to school funding, Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula is complicated, but it essentially awards more money to schools with more poor students, more foster youth, and more students who are still learning English. If the Legislature approves the plan, it would come to full fruition in the 2019-20 school year. No school district would get less than it received this school year.

District 2011-12 per student revenue

2019-20 per student revenue

% Increase

Acalnes Union HS $6,727 $9,159 36% Lafayette Elementary $5,925 $7,911 33.5% Martinez USD $6,756 $8,926 32% Moraga Elementary $5,932 $7,822 31% Mount Diablo USD $6,330 $9,472 50% Orinda Union  $5,753 $7,780 35% Walnut Creek Elementary $5,790 $8,164 41% West Contra Costa USD $6,575 $10,836 64%
Chris J Kapsalis February 26, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I would not mind if extra tax was on the so called sins to provide others who may or may not use those things with free or more affordable healthcare. Just my opinion.. Of course taxes pay for our roads and many other things we use for free, as in not have to pay to use again as some things our tax dollars pay for. I'm sure most of the underage students don't legally buy cigarettes or alcohol or pay taxes for that matter and indeed get a free education in the US in public schools. Canada has stretched it out more and put more taxes on "sins" than we do to provide many free programs including healthcare for it's citizens. What word would you prefer? I do not agree with the huge sales tax there, but do agree with the alcohol and fast food, cigarettes and other "sin" taxes etc. Seems your splitting hairs on semantics. Our very freedom isn't free, so maybe they should change that word ? What?
Ron Skrehot March 03, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Chris, I wish it was as simple as that. The first problem is that we live in a state who's government is spend crazy. We are taxed more than ever and receive less in return in the way of services. Second, the "sin taxes" we already pay don't get allocated to the problems those products produce. Most of it goes into the general fund and spent on things we don't even vote on like high speed rail projects to nowhere. I won't even begin on the federal out of control spending. Instead of taxing the products that are bad for us, why don't we eliminate them. Why as a society can we legally sell items that kill people or shorten life spans? Guns aside, look at what is in our food now versus 20 years ago and tell me you wonder why so many people are over weight. Taxing the sin doesn't eliminate the problem, it makes it worse and allows government to exercise more control over people through our current poor decisions. Unfortunately the right to exercise our "freedoms" sometimes overrides our own common sense as a society.
Chris J Kapsalis March 03, 2013 at 12:57 PM
You cannot eliminate them without creating even larger problems. Prohibition taught us that. Secondly, why is it acceptable to tax a persons home they bought and not the alcohol they bought for education? How is the money earmarked to education from a parcel tax but cannot be form a sin tax? Does not make any sense. And no taxing does not eliminate a problem, as I said alcohol sales are still brisk in Ontario, but it does generate a lot of money for things like education and health care.... The other things you mentioned are other issues we need to also address. I think the first step is making a law that forces money raised for a thing to actually go to that thing or else. The lottery debacle should have taught us that. I really hope there is not another parcel tax on the next ballet for education. Owning a home is the way many save for retirement. Their retirement. Home ownership is also a dream for many that these parcel taxes pull away a little each time, they add up big time though. Tax Sins? Seems much more logical and fair to me than taxing peoples homes.
Anne Mobley March 03, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Ron, I totally agree with everything you said except about the guns. We need to eliminate the psyche drugs that make people do terrible things with guns, knives, cars, etc. It is the drugs that should be eliminated. BTW how the heck are you? Still with our old employer or did you retire too?
Hillary Destra March 05, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Including and up to Junior High I was enrolled in the Mentally Gifted Minds program; my Spanish and Gaelic forefathers teaching themselves how to amalgamate linguistically and otherwise. Thank goodness I had MGM to give me a boost as I had real bad parenting and lived in poverty. I eventually ended up in Foster Care system where I had to work so hard night and day, and we (even me, a gifted one) was only allowed one hour a day to study. I don't know that throwing money at broken school systems is a way to improve society. Who is to say the school administrators will put the money to good use when they are so used to dealing with just problems? There's a movie based on a true story starring Hillary Swank about this, if you want an example. I am sorry to see middle class children or gifted children declinated for a political agenda. Will those schools be speaking other languages in those same classrooms? Without learning proper language in schools we have to have others write for us. I also would hope that in order to find more funding that drug manufacturer/growing/selling laws be enforced and with higher fines and penalties--especially when such activity is around schools--as well as the tax cheating that comes out of that income and/or other types of tax cheating be enforced such as property tax cheating. New taxes are not the solution when cheaters are the problem. More ballet classes, less ballots.

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