In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown touted the centerpiece of his education agenda, the Local Control Funding Formula, which simplifies the way in which local school districts are funded.
Yet his key legacy program has experienced critical implementation problems and has exposed, once again, the fallacy of relying only on government-centric solutions to the state’s education problems.
The governor’s intentions in creating the Local Control Funding Formula, which was adopted by the state in 2013, were worthy. In his State of the State, he criticized the micromanagement of educators “through increasingly minute and prescriptive state and federal regulations.” With his LCFF program, he proclaimed, “California has led the country in the way it is returning control to local school districts.”
But simply shifting spending discretion from one level of government to another still means that government is in control of decision-making, with predictably bad results.
Prior to the enactment of the LCFF, funding California’s public schools was a complicated mix of general and restricted dollars,… Read More