FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff Continues Drive to Clean Up CA Education Code
Senate Committee Approves Measure to Simplify Code and Remove Confusion
SACRAMENTO: Legislation designed to amend the California Education Code by removing sections that were dropped during adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula passed its first policy test in the Senate Education Committee. Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) agreed to author SB 1211 at the request of the California School Boards Association. Senator Huff’s legislative effort was needed after the State Legislature took action to abolish the old system of education funding through the adoption of AB 97.
AB 97, which was part of the 2013 State Budget bill, established the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP). The LCFF replaced the prior system of revenue limits and restricted funding for categorical programs with a new funding formula that provides base-funding for the core educational needs of all students and supplemental and concentration funding for the additional educational needs of low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.
“My thanks to my colleagues on the Senate Education Committee because the changes I’m seeking under SB 1211 helps close the chapter on an old ‘strings-attached’ funding mechanism,” said Senator Huff. “It’s critical that these antiquated laws are removed from the California Education Code, making the code easier for schools to understand.”
There were two primary ways of funding schools under California’s old system of education financing: Base funding was designed to cover the basic costs of education, such as teacher salaries, textbooks, materials and more. Categorical funding was more limited and targeted to very specific areas, such as English language learners, class size reduction and special education. This system had its critics, who called it too state-driven, bureaucratic, complex, inequitable and based on outdated allocation methods that did not reflect current student needs.
Under LCFF school districts still have the authority to fund a variety of educational programs, but they now have the flexibility to direct that money toward those programs most vital to them. SB 1211 builds upon Senator Huff’s work to remove sections of and simplify California’s education code. This process started with Senator Huff’s introduction of SB 917 in 2014. It continued with the passage of SB 416 last year.
“California’s Education Code is more than 100,000 pages long and our job isn’t done yet,” said Senator Huff. “Further reforms are needed to improve the education that millions of California students receive.”
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.