State audit finds education money not serving high-needs students, calls for changes in funding law
In its first detailed examination of former Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark school funding law, the California State Auditor sharply criticized the Legislature and State Board of Education for failing to ensure that billions of dollars have been spent on low-income children and other students targeted for additional state money.
“In general, we determined that the State’s approach” to the Local Control Funding Formula “has not ensured that funding is benefiting students as intended,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in a letter with the audit, released on Tuesday.
Howle’s conclusion vindicates complaints and lawsuits brought by Public Advocates and the ACLU of California and affirms longtime criticisms of student advocacy organizations like Education Trust-West and Children Now that spending for high-needs students often isn’t monitored. A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California found that statewide, “supplemental and concentration” dollars generally were being spent on targeted groups but it took an enterprising researcher exhaustive digging to determine that.