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March 20, 2017

Contact: Kelly Koehler, UWGLA

Phone: (909) 936-1329

Email: [email protected]

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Spotlight on spending inequities for high-need student populations

Pro-Equity Groups Release Call to Action as Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Embarks on Budget Planning Process

Mar. 20, 2017 (Los Angeles) – United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA), in partnership with UC Berkeley and the CLASS Coalition, announce the release of the third Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Interim Report Card, examining LAUSD’s budgeting practices to support high-needs students. The report calls on LAUSD to “Keep the Promise” of LCFF, originally enacted by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013 in an effort to improve how the LAUSD distributes funding to its highest-need schools. According to the Interim LCFF Report Card, LAUSD’s $8.4 billion annual budget lacks an equitable focus on high-need students such as English learners, low income, foster youth and homeless youth. These pro-equity groups are calling on the LAUSD School Board and Superintendent to direct additional state funds toward programs and resources that close the longstanding gap between high-needs pupils and their more affluent peers.

“We see first-hand what happens when the youth are not a priority. Our hope is that the LCFF Interim Report Card can serve as an influential advocacy tool to build awareness and influence real change that shifts how LAUSD allocates funds to high-need students,” said Elmer Roldan, UWGLA’s director of education programs and policy.

Key findings of the report include inequities and shortages in money dedicated to high-needs students, inefficiencies with how school program effectiveness is measured, varying capacities amongst school principals and families on how to navigate budget complexities, and discrepancies between district goals (such as 100% graduation rate) and its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The full report can be found here.

The LCFF Interim Report Card is a call to action for LAUSD.

In June 2017, the School Board will vote on the Superintendent’s 2017-18 district budget.

UWGLA and the core groups of the CLASS coalition implore LAUSD to “Keep the Promise of LCFF” and:

  • Re-evaluate and change the formula currently employed by LAUSD to determine “need.”
  • Increase the monetary commitment to higher-needs schools.
  • Update the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) so that goals are aligned with its investments and effectiveness is measured annually.
  • Publically state what agreements and constraints have prevented them from implementing LCFF as intended.

"After four years and $3.8 billion later, the District has made progress in providing stronger funding to high schools serving low-achieving kids," said Bruce Fuller, the Berkeley professor who led the budget analysis. "But distributions to elementary schools remain terribly unfair, reflecting no cohesive strategy to narrow achievement gaps."

A full report will be issued in June 2017.

About United Way of Greater Los Angeles

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways out of poverty by helping homeless people move into housing, providing students with the support they need to graduate high school prepared for college and the workforce, and helping hard-working families become financially stable. United Way identifies the root causes of poverty and works strategically to solve them by building alliances across all sectors, funding targeted programs and advocating for change. For more information, visit

About UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education’s research, teaching, and practice approaches support a vision of public education that has as its goal equity and inclusion at all levels – classroom, school, community, district, state, national, and global – and that positively impacts personal growth and social transformation.

About CLASS Coalition

Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) is a coalition of parent, student, educator, community-based and civil rights organizations that, since its inception, is dedicated to ensuring all students in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) receive an equitable, high-quality public education. The coalition, through its ten core organizations including United Way of Greater Los Angeles and over 60 network partners, represents over 150,000 constituents.