New efforts to make school spending in California more transparent

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Source: EdSource

Though barely a week old, 2020 is shaping up to be the year that policy makers and legislators force school districts to be more accountable for how they spend money they receive from the state’s funding formula. It could produce the first significant tightening of rules under the Local Control Funding Formula since former Gov. Jerry Brown persuaded the Legislature to pass the landmark legislation in 2013.

The officials are responding to public criticism, seconded by a state audit, that lawmakers and parents often can’t determine how money targeted for high-needs students — English learners, low-income, foster and homeless youths — is being spent.

“The carryover should be non-negotiable. The resources should benefit the intended students,” said Samantha Tran, senior managing director for education policy at the nonprofit advocacy organization Children Now. That organization and two other nonprofit advocacy groups, the Education Trust-West and Teach Plus, are co-sponsors of both bills.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.