by Cindy Andrade
It might be hard to imagine what it’s like for Oakland students if you’ve never been through our schools. I have friends who have dropped out, or are thinking about dropping out, because Oakland Unified, the district I attend, doesn’t have enough money to provide sufficient resources in order for us to be successful.
For years, students like me in Oakland have been asking: How can we succeed when our classrooms are overcrowded and we have outdated computers, damaged textbooks, and so few desks that students have to stand or sit on the floor? How can we succeed without enough AP classes, counselors and college prep support? In other words, how can you expect us to succeed when we’re being set up to fail?
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is supposed to make sure more money goes to the schools and students who need it most – low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth. Oakland Unified has a large number of these students and will benefit greatly from it.
But as the new funding system takes effect in Oakland and across California, there’s an important piece to remember. It’s called the Local Control Funding Formula. That means it must include local communities. Without real student and community input into how funding is distributed and spent, we will not be able to hold our districts and schools accountable to us. School districts across California must remember that they are working for us, the students, and that equity must be defined by what we need. After all…
Read the rest of Cindy’s piece and join the discussion about this new funding formula at EdSource.