By: John Fensterwald
Date: May 28, 2015
Related Staff: John T. Affeldt
In its first statement on a critical issue facing school boards, the California Department of Education cautioned that under the state’s new funding formula, only in “some limited circumstances” can school districts use money that’s supposed to be spent on services for low-income children and English learners for across-the-board pay raises for teachers.
The “burden” to justify diverting money targeted for these “high-need” students, who also include foster youths, to pay raises is “very heavy,” since it should be spent increasing programs and services for those students, wrote Jeff Breshears, administrator for the education department’s Local Agency Systems Support Office.Breshears’ carefully worded, four-page letter was sent April 15 to Jim Yovino, superintendent of the Fresno County Office of Education, in response to Yovino’s inquiry.
“The letter tracks closely our analysis of how to analyze supplemental and concentration spending,” said John Affeldt, managing attorney of Public Advocates, a legal advocacy firm that is heavily involved in state education policy.