Tuesday, August 09, 2016

How did LAUSD spend $450 million? Not on the high-needs students the money was for, state officials say

The L.A. Times reports:
The Los Angeles Unified School District may soon have to redirect how it spends hundreds of millions of dollars in order to directly benefit the English learners, foster youth and low-income students for whom the state funding was earmarked.

This summer, the school district appealed state officials’ determination that it was not following the terms of a new state funding plan meant to direct more money to students who are costly and difficult to teach.

On Friday, state education officials upheld the original decision, saying “LAUSD must revise its calculation” of how it accounted for $450 million in spending.

The Community Coalition of South Los Angeles and other groups asserted that the nation’s second-largest school system was using this earmarked money for its general program for all students or to cover other costs, including offsetting an ongoing budget crisis.

“You need to show that the funding you are providing … was principally directed toward those students,” said Victor Leung, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which was involved in the litigation. “It can’t just be some sort of blanket program that impacted a lot of those students, which is essentially what LAUSD’s interpretation was, which was rejected.”
Those English learners sure are expensive.