by Rosa deLeon, Lead Organizer, CFJ San Jose
Last July was a historic month for California students due to the passage of a new law for funding schools: The Local Control Funding Formula. The concept of this funding formula is simple: Schools with a high population of low-income, English learner, and foster youth will receive more funds to address their needs. Pretty simple and fair right?
Unfortunately, the concept of equity – directing more funds to students with more needs – inherent in the new law is falling short. A lack of strong standards for how districts and schools can spend this money has caused vast variation in how this law is implemented, and the youth these funds are intended to help are often being left out of the picture.
One way to help fulfill the promise of equity in LCFF, is to address a huge missing link – student engagement and participation in the implementation process within their own school districts. Let’s face it, when thinking of education experts we often leave students out of the picture. Students spend a majority of their time in school, but are frequently overlooked when we work to solve problems in the one area they know the most about. If we are reforming something that has a direct impact on youth, it is only right to hear what they have to say about it.
Although some decision makers and district officials agree with this concept, we need to ensure that student input is formally required in the implementation of the law. You can stand for student voice by:
Signing a petition to tell the State Board Of Education to include student voice in the regulations of the Local Control Funding Formula
Comment below – why do you value student voice?
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Take action today and empower youth to improve their schools!