California school districts, charter schools to get $6.8 billion, in varying amounts, of federal aid

In total, close to $20 billion is being given to California schools—schools that are closing, have lost tens of thousands of students and for those showing up at their computers, a waste of time.  Actually, the money is going to pay for teachers not teaching and administrators who can play poker each day and no one will know or care.

“The latest federal funding in the bill is about four times as much as the $13.5 billion in aid that went to K-12 schools under the CARES Act that Congress passed in March. But the combination of the two — about $70 billion — is substantially less than the $98 billion that Congress provided K-12 under the economic recovery act that Congress funded in the midst of the Great Recession a decade ago, said Michael Griffith, a national expert on school finance who is currently a senior researcher and policy analyst at the Palo Alto-based Learning Policy Institute.”

Would you give money to a closed business, to keep them closed?  That is what the special interests have done.  There is no provision that says money only goes to districts that are open and teaching, on campus, five days a week, full time.  Instead, money goes to California teachers who, per Sacramento Democrats, get full pay and benefits, even if they play poker during the day.

California school districts, charter schools to get $6.8 billion, in varying amounts, of federal aid

Title I funding formula will determine big differences in federal aid

John Fensterwald And Daniel J. Willis, EdSource,  12/22/20   

Relief legislation that Congress passed on Monday will provide at least $6.8 billion to California’s school districts and charter schools. That equals about an eighth of the $54.9 billion that Congress will award to K-12 schools.

This assumes President Trump signs the legislation. Late Tuesday, he threatened not to. Although both bills passed by veto-proof majorities, the president objected that the checks for individuals, a cornerstone of the bill, should be $2,000 per person, triple what’s in the bill. It’s unclear what will happen next.

See funding by district

EdSource has calculated how much of the $6.8 billion in  federal coronavirus relief each charter school and school district would receive. Go here for the database.

The latest federal funding in the bill is about four times as much as the $13.5 billion in aid that went to K-12 schools under the CARES Act that Congress passed in March. But the combination of the two — about $70 billion — is substantially less than the $98 billion that Congress provided K-12 under the economic recovery act that Congress funded in the midst of the Great Recession a decade ago, said Michael Griffith, a national expert on school finance who is currently a senior researcher and policy analyst at the Palo Alto-based Learning Policy Institute.

The latest round should be “really helpful to meet the short-term costs of Covid and some of the budget shortfalls facing states,” Griffith said. But it won’t be enough to address the extra funding needed to address the lost learning that a substantial number of students are experiencing. Those extra costs distinguish the current pandemic-precipitated recession from the Great Recession, Griffifth said. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to return to Congress early next year for more money for schools.

The $6.8 billion in new funding for districts and charter schools in California will vary widely per student, because it will be tied to how much districts received last year in federal Title I funding — a complex formula determined by the poverty rate and other factors.

Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest district, alone will receive $1.2 billion — $2,756 per student, while Capistrano Unified in Orange County, with a low rate of poverty, will receive $15.4 million – $331 per student, according to EdSource calculations.

Although the money is distributed by Title I funding, the legislation allows districts to spend the money for students districtwide on a wide range of Covid-related purposes.

Districts that receive negligible Title I funding are likely to complain that they face some of the same health and safety costs, in personal protective equipment, ventilation improvements, teacher training and sanitizing expenses, as high-poverty districts. Receiving no Title I funding, and therefore no federal Covid assistance this round are 253 charter schools and 89 school districts. Although most are tiny, rural districts, 10 have more than 1,000 students, including the 11,000-student Fremont Union High School District in Sunnyvale; while it had some income-eligible families, the district did not apply for Title I funding.

Last spring, Gov. Gavin Newsom augmented funding for K-12 schools with an additional $5.3 billion in “learning loss” funding, much of it in CARES Act dollars he had at his discretion. But in the latest round, Congress funded no new money for county and city governments. Funding for them was a bargaining chip in failed negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over giving businesses and school districts liability protection from being sued by employees and parents, in the case of school districts, who contract the coronavirus. They’ll argue that they should now be Newsom’s priority.

The total funding for education is $82 billion in the latest round of federal aid. This includes the $54.9 billion for K-12, $23 billion for higher education and $4 billion that governors can decide how to spend on education. However, $2.75 billion of that discretionary money must be given to private schools, targeting those serving low-income children.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Unions are very powerful. They control many/most of our legislators. Parents and students and many communities have little or no say in any aspect of education. Unions remain powerful because they have the power to strike. When given a choice between working or staying home to care for the children many parents really are forced to support the strike because they are dependent on the income. Ronald Regan had the right idea – and communities need to consider that alternative. Of course the legislators will support the unions – their cash cow. The covid has shown us that there are alternatives available to that control. Do we want to remain the sheep??

  2. William Hicks says

    Governments answer to everything seems to be to throw money at a dead horse. Public education is a failure. Other than a teachers union support of leftist politicians, what is gained for the citizenry to continue throwing money at this?

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