– John Fensterwald, EdSource | Today http://bit.ly/1czCkVX
<< Gov. Jerry Brown testified before the State Board of Education on Thursday, urging them to adopt spending regulations for the Local Control Funding Formula. Image from California Department of Education webcast
Jan 16, 2014 :: Gov. Jerry Brown made a rare appearance Thursday at a State Board of Education hearing on proposed regulations on the state’s new funding system, underscoring the importance of the board’s deliberations.
Getting a standing ovation from those in the boardroom and applauded by those lining up outside to speak, Brown reiterated the significance of his signature education reform, the Local Control Funding Formula, and voiced support for the regulations that would spell out how the law would work. But he also urged patience.
“The regulations are much better and will get better. You won’t get it all right the first time but you don’t not want to micromanage” through rules, Brown cautioned.
The last time Brown appeared before the board was a week after he took office in January 2011, where he laid out his broad education philosophy in off-the-cuff remarks.
Brown didn’t comment directly today on one key issue dividing school officials and civil rights leaders: whether the regulations should be strengthened to require school districts to spend money allocated for students with high needs on those students. The proposed regs would permit districts to use money for low-income children, English learners and students in foster care for districtwide services and programs if those students make up at least 55 percent of enrollment. Children’s advocates say the proposed regs could undermine the goal of equity in funding. But Brown made clear that flexibility in decision-making – his “principle of subsidiarity” – should guide the funding law.
“Focus authority where it can be most effectively accomplished, at the local level,” Brown said. “This set of regulations has the flexibility to incorporate different perspectives.”
Acknowledging that accountability can be abused, Brown warned against responding with “minute prescriptive commands from headquarters.”
“With flexibility in guidelines and reasonable accountability, we will get the job done,” he said.